1 Friday, 7 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Good morning, everybody.
11 Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE LIU: Would you please stand up and make the solemn
14 declaration in accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: DRAGOMIR ZEKIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
20 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
22 Your Honours.
23 Examined by Mr. Karnavas:
24 Q. Good morning, sir. Could you please tell us what your name is.
25 A. Dragomir Zekic.
1 Q. Could you please tell us your last name letter by letter.
2 A. Z-e-k-i-c.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zekic. July 1995, were you a member of the
4 Bratunac Brigade?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would you please tell us what your position was within the
7 Bratunac Brigade back in July 1995.
8 A. The commander of the 3rd Infantry Battalion.
9 Q. And for how long had you been the commander of the 3rd Infantry
10 Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade?
11 A. About 15 months.
12 Q. Would you please tell us what training, if any, you received in
13 order to achieve that position, that is, the commander of the 3rd Infantry
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What kind of training did you receive?
17 A. The centre of military schools in Banja Luka, 1993 to 1994, the
18 28th of June.
19 Q. Now, prior to going to Banja Luka to that military school, were
20 you with the Bratunac Brigade?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. For how long had you been with the Bratunac Brigade?
23 A. Since the end of June 1992 to the beginning of July 1993.
24 Q. And what positions did you hold within the brigade?
25 A. The komandir of the platoon, komandir of the platoon and deputy
1 company commander.
2 Q. As part of the commander, were you mobilised as part of the
3 Territorial Defence?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Will you please tell us when you were mobilised and for how long
6 did you serve.
7 A. From the 18th of April, 1992, to the 15th of -- I was wounded on
8 the 15th of May, 1992. From the 15th of May, 1992, to the 20th of -- 25th
9 of June, 1992, I was treated at the military hospital in Sokolac. And on
10 the 26th of June, I came to Bratunac, 1992, that is. I was wounded at
12 Q. Where exactly were you wounded, sir?
13 A. I was wounded in front of my native house 4 kilometres away from
14 Srebrenica, the village.
15 Q. And what, if anything, were you doing when you were wounded?
16 A. I wasn't doing anything. I was just standing in front of my
18 Q. Would you please tell us what happened. On the 15th, at 5.15, the
19 Territorial Defence of the BH launched an all-out attack on Serbian
20 villages. In a single day on the 15th of May, 1992, 178 houses were set
21 fire to, over 30 civilians were killed, and there were tens or dozens of
23 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zekic, where do you live today?
24 A. Today, I live in my parental home in Srebrenica.
25 Q. And what do you do for a living?
1 A. I am the deputy director of the utilities company in Srebrenica.
2 Q. And could you please just tell us what is the level of your
4 A. I have higher vocational education.
5 Q. In what field?
6 A. In the field of economics.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, I want to begin where we began this
8 morning, and that is July 1995. Did you, since you were the commander of
9 the 3rd Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade, did you participate in the
10 attack against Srebrenica?
11 A. Not in an active attack on Srebrenica.
12 Q. But were you at that period of time mobilised and on the line?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Would you please tell us when it was that you learned that there
15 would be this attack against Srebrenica.
16 A. I'm not sure of the date, the 3rd or 4th, I believe of July, 1995.
17 Q. And how did you come to learn of this attack?
18 A. I was called to the brigade command.
19 Q. Now, when you were called to the brigade command on the 3rd or the
20 4th of July, 1995, what did you learn and from whom?
21 A. Specifically, I received an assignment from the then-commander
22 Milenko Zivanovic, corps commander he was, to reconnoitre the positions in
23 front of me and to make passages in front of the minefields in front of my
24 defence lines.
25 Q. All right. Now, step by step. The first aspect, what exactly
1 were you being asked to do?
2 A. In concrete terms, to indicate the deployment and positions of the
3 BH army in front of our first lines of defence.
4 Q. And how were you to do that, sir?
5 A. On a map.
6 Q. All right. Now, what about the latter part, which was to demine,
7 as I understand, a passage in front of your line.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, I take it -- well, were you given a location, an exact
11 A. No.
12 Q. All right. Now, before we go any further, could you please tell
13 us the make-up of the 3rd Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade.
14 A. Six infantry companies.
15 Q. Now -- and how many men were in each company?
16 A. On an average, 70 men to 75.
17 Q. Would you please tell us whether all six companies were there on
18 July 6th, 1995, the day when Srebrenica was attacked.
19 A. No.
20 Q. How many companies were there with the 3rd Battalion?
21 A. Four.
22 Q. Would you please tell us where the other two were located and the
23 reasons why they were not there on the line on this very important day, 6
24 July 1995, the day when Srebrenica was attacked.
25 A. One was at Trnovo and another at Stublic.
1 Q. Now, I'm going to show you a document and I would like you to look
2 at it.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: And for the record, I am showing the gentleman what
4 has come into evidence as P406, and he will be looking at 406/B, which is
5 the original in Srpski.
6 Q. Could you please look at that, sir, just very briefly first, and
7 then I'll direct you to the appropriate section.
8 A. Do you recognise this, sir, this document.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you please tell us what it is.
11 A. It is an order for active combat operations.
12 Q. Now, I want to direct -- and what is the date on this document,
14 A. 05/07/1995.
15 Q. All right. And so if I understand your previous testimony, this
16 order would have come after that meeting, whether it was on the 3rd or the
17 4th of July, for the preparation. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, if you could look at paragraph 5.3, that would be on page 3
20 of the English version. Please look at it, sir. And please tell us
21 whether this particular paragraph relates to your battalion.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, I'm going to go through it step by step, line by line, and
24 sometimes word by word so you can give us your understanding of the orders
25 pertaining to your particular battalion.
1 The first line reads: "The 3rd Battalion with its main forces
2 will carry out persistent (decisive) defence of its current positions and
3 secure the introduction of attack forces along the lines of the attack."
4 First of all, what are we talking about when we say here: "Its
5 main forces," the battalion's main forces?
6 A. The main forces of the battalion was in defence at the lines
7 reached from April 1993.
8 Q. All right. Now it says: "It will carry out persistent (decisive)
9 defence of its current positions ..."
10 What did you understand that to mean?
11 A. To defend the lines reached in 1993.
12 Q. All right. Well, how were you able to defend them if you were
13 already there defending them, in essence, by being there?
14 A. In case of an attack, you couldn't go back. That's why it says
15 odsudno, "decisive."
16 Q. All right. Now, for those of us who have not been in battle,
17 could you please tell us, if you had a second echelon, perhaps even a
18 third echelon, of men behind you in an event that this line broke to make
19 sure that the enemy did not go all the way to Bratunac.
20 A. No.
21 Q. All right. Now, it goes on to say that it will: "Secure the
22 introduction of attack forces along the lines of the attack."
23 "Secure the introduction of attack forces along the lines of
24 attack," what does that mean?
25 A. I have already answered in part. It means to demine in front of
1 the defence lines sure passages for introducing forces for an active
3 Q. Does this mean that you are introduce the active forces?
4 A. Not me.
5 Q. So if -- well, who was going to then? If not you, who then?
6 A. In active combat operations, southwards, the wolves of the Drina
7 took part under the command of Milan Jolovic, the Drina Wolves, and a
8 battalion from the Zvornik Brigade, under the command of Vinko Pandurevic.
9 Q. Right. So in other words, this first sentence, if we are to
10 understand it correctly, means basically hold your line and open up a
11 passage, demine a passage, for forces to come?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, I want to go to the next line. It says: "With its auxiliary
14 forces, it will attack along the Pribicevac/village of
15 Lovine/Kvarc/Divljakinje axis."
16 Do you see that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. First of all, could you please tell us what auxiliary
19 forces are we speaking of when it says "of its," meaning the
20 3rd Battalion's, "auxiliary forces?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Well, what does it mean? It says: "With its auxiliary forces, it
23 will attack."
24 Did you have auxiliary forces?
25 A. It was a Red Beret platoon attached to the 3rd Infantry Battalion
1 at the end of June 1995.
2 Q. All right. And it says that it was going to attack along the
3 Pribicevac village of Lovine and Kvarc and Divljakinje.
4 And I apologise for not being able to pronounce these rather
5 difficult places. First of all, did this occur? Did you do this?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Would you please tell us first of all, since we're speaking about
8 the Red Berets and you said that there was one platoon, how many
9 Red Berets were attached to the 3rd Battalion at that period of time.
10 A. About 25.
11 Q. And who was the komandir or komandant of this platoon?
12 A. Platoon komandir Rade Petrovic.
13 Q. Would you please tell us whether they were located by the
14 3rd Battalion during this critical period, and we're talking about July
15 6th and onwards to July 11th, 1995. Were the Red Berets located and
16 attached and working alongside with you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you please tell us exactly what they did.
19 A. About 25 men, which means two squads. One squad went towards
20 Lovine; one towards Divljakinje. In principle, they were forward
22 Q. How far from your line were these forward observers located?
23 A. Between 50 and 100 metres.
24 Q. And why were they placed there? I know you said "forward
25 observers," and I don't want to lead you here, but tell us exactly what
1 was their function.
2 A. Just to thwart the attack by the opposite side.
3 Q. Could you please tell us how heavily armed, what sort of
4 equipment, artillery equipment, mortar equipment, you know, any -- what
5 exactly did they have with them in order to maintain their positions?
6 A. Just light infantry weapons; that's all.
7 Q. Now, we heard the term "Red Berets" before, and some of us conjure
8 up images -- you know, certain images. Could you please tell us how well
9 trained these Red Berets were and how well disciplined they were.
10 A. I assume that you have the Red Berets as a professional army, but
11 these were not professional ones. They were secondary school pupils,
12 graduates or not. They had joined together under that name, and such
13 names as youth and enthusiasm. So they were guys without any training.
14 And Rade Petrovic in 1992 was a secondary school pupil but he never
15 graduated from the fourth year of electrical engineering school, and he
16 was their komandir.
17 Q. Is he related to Sreten Petrovic?
18 A. Yes, his son.
19 Q. And who is Sreten Petrovic? We've heard his name in this
20 courtroom as well. Who is he?
21 A. Sreten Petrovic was my deputy, that is to say, the deputy
22 commander of the 3rd Infantry Battalion. Otherwise, he was a miner by
24 Q. All right. And was Sreten Petrovic there on the line during those
25 critical days?
1 A. Yes, until the 9th of July.
2 Q. You may not need to shout into the mike. I think it kind of picks
3 up, so you can just speak normally if you're not accustomed to it.
4 A. I understand, yes.
5 Q. I'm not being critical. I just -- all right. Now, we're going to
6 speak more about the Red Berets, but getting back to where we were 5.3,
7 paragraph 5.3 on exhibit 406. If I understand it correctly, this was not
8 accomplished, as it's stated in the combat order, is that correct, that
9 they were to attack?
10 A. Yes. It's -- you can't attack a company or a reinforced company
11 with a squad; that's completely mad.
12 Q. All right. Now, if we go to the next paragraph it says: "The
13 tasks." And it says: "To rout the enemy along the lines of attack; reach
14 the line of Divljakinje," and it has the points, Olovine, 831, "in the
15 preceding task of the TT 789," and so on.
16 Was this task completed?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Well, why not?
19 A. We stayed exclusively at the defence lines; whereas, the
20 development of events on the southern side did not give any intimations
21 for us to move. And the order from Commander Blagojevic was exclusively
22 defence, decisive defence.
23 Q. All right. Now, the next paragraph says: "Responsible for the
24 link-up with the 2nd Battalion."
25 Was this accomplished? Did you link-up?
1 A. Yes. And before the operations, we linked up with the
2 2nd Infantry Battalion, and that is standard practice in the army.
3 Q. And then it says: "The KAG, corps artillery group, will support
5 Did the corps artillery group support you?
6 A. No, there was no need.
7 Q. But were they there nonetheless, just in case you needed the
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, do you know where they came from?
11 A. From the corps command at Vlasenica.
12 Q. All right. Do you know who their commander was?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you have any contact, any communication, any coordination with
15 them during that period?
16 A. No.
17 Q. And then it says the IKM will be in Kula. Is that where you had
18 your forward command post during that critical period?
19 A. The forward command post at Kula was the defence line, and it was
20 held until the active operations started. That means nothing special.
21 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us how far the
22 3rd Battalion under your command advanced, advanced - how much ground you
23 gained - from your position to Srebrenica from July 6th to July 11th, the
24 day when Srebrenica fell.
25 A. Not a single metre.
1 Q. I want to go day by day now. Did anything unusual happen? Did
2 you see any action? Were you fired at or did you fire upon on the 6th of
3 July, 1995?
4 A. Not the 3rd Infantry Battalion.
5 Q. Well, what about on the 7th of July, 1995?
6 A. No.
7 Q. What about on -- what about on the 8th of July?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Was there any action on the 9th of July?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. Could you please explain to us what happened on the 9th of
12 July. How your battalion specifically was involved, engaged, confronted,
13 what have you.
14 A. On the 9th of July in the early morning hours, sometime between
15 half past 4.00 and 5.00, an all-out attack started from the Srebrenica
16 enclave directed to the south side of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, which
17 was in contact with the Drina Wolves and the Zvornik Battalion. At one
18 point during a fierce attack, we became separated and there was risk of
19 the enemy forces getting into the rear of our troops. That is, to take
20 positions behind our backs.
21 At that point, we were engaged in active defence. So -- this
22 lasted for a couple of hours. After a couple of hours, we managed to join
23 forces, that is the left wing of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, in
24 cooperation with the Zvornik elements and the Drina Wolves, we managed to
25 push the enemy back to their starting positions. This took place in the
1 morning before noon on the left side, on the left wing, of our forces;
2 however, during the afternoon hours from the direction of Divljakinje, a
3 lesser-intensity attack started in which my deputy, Sreten Petrovic, was
4 wounded together with two other soldiers.
5 Q. Now, when Sreten Petrovic was wounded, could you tell us how
6 severe were his wounds.
7 A. They were not fatal, not as dangerous, but every wounding is
8 serious. He had sustained two gunshot wounds in the right leg and the
9 right arm.
10 Q. And what happened to Sreten Petrovic?
11 A. Sreten Petrovic, together with the two others who had also been
12 wounded, was taken to the area of Pribicevac and in an ambulance driven to
13 Bratunac, where he was taken to the Zvornik health centre.
14 Q. All right. Now, during that period of time did you see a
15 gentleman by the name of Djordje Pejic, if I have the name correctly, who
16 was with the engineers or a deminer.
17 A. I know who the individual is, but no, I didn't.
18 Q. All right. Now, do you know what his tasks were, you know, what
19 his function was within the brigade?
20 A. He was a commander of an engineer's company, something like that.
21 Q. Did his engineer's company come by that area at any point in time,
22 if you are aware?
23 A. Not to my knowledge.
24 Q. Have you ever had any contact with this gentleman, you know, on a
25 professional sense with respect to his demining or engineering
1 capabilities or mining, whatever the case may be?
2 A. Very little. I think it only once and very briefly.
3 Q. All right. Did you form an opinion at that point in time as to
4 this particular individual?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would you please share that with us.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
8 MS. ISSA: I'm just not sure how this is relevant, Your Honour.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: May we go into private session, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session, please.
11 [Private session]
12 Page 8879 – redacted – private session.
8 [Open session]
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, just for the record, I said he was
10 not credible. I said he had credibility problems and issues. As we
11 discussed before, as me and Mr. Karnavas agreed, it's going to be
12 incumbent upon the Court, I don't want to use that term Mr. Karnavas used,
13 but look into the testimony of each of these witnesses. So I'm certainly
14 not counting out a person just because he happens to get up and not be
15 truthful about one thing.
16 JUDGE LIU: I think the positions of the two parties are very
17 clear and they are all in the transcript. When we evaluate the relevant
18 piece of the evidence, we'll take into account the submissions by the both
20 Should we move on?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President.
22 Q. Now, we were talking about, I believe, 9 July 1995 and you told us
23 that there was some particular action on that day. What about the 10th of
25 A. On the 10th, the 3rd Infantry Battalion remained on the line that
1 they had taken possession of; whereas, the rest of the units continued on
2 their attack on Srebrenica.
3 Q. Okay. Now, when you say "the rest of the units," we're not
4 speaking about your units but the other units that were engaged by the
5 Drina Corps and the Main Staff?
6 A. Yes. That's what I said. The 3rd Infantry Battalion remained on
7 the line that they had taken in 1993, and other units, and I was referring
8 to the Zvornik Battalion, and the Drina Wolves continued with the attack.
9 Q. Would you please tell us about July 11th, the day that Srebrenica
10 fell. How far did your troops, the 3rd Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade,
11 advance towards Srebrenica?
12 A. Not 1 metre.
13 Q. Why not?
14 A. It probably had to do with the assessment of the command. With
15 two companies, I didn't have enough strength to move forward, that's one
16 reason; second, it was necessary to protect the corps communications
17 centre and it was also necessary to protect the medical corps and a couple
18 of armoured mechanised vehicles that were in the area of Pribicevac.
19 Q. Did your commander, Mr. Blagojevic, did he issue you any orders on
20 that particular day with respect to movement or lack thereof?
21 A. The fall of Srebrenica took place on the 11th at around 1400. On
22 that day an order came from Colonel Blagojevic, the commander of the
23 Bratunac Brigade, and it read: "Remain at your positions until the
24 communications centre and the medical corps, as well as the armoured
25 mechanised units are back."
1 Q. Okay. Just a second. I want to go back to an earlier question
2 because we may need some clarification due to the translation. I asked
3 you a question: Why didn't you move a single metre, why didn't you move
4 from your positions? Could you please restate your answer, if you recall
5 exactly what you told us.
6 A. The order of the commander of the Bratunac Brigade read: "Remain
7 at your starting positions until further notice."
8 Q. All right. And why was that, if you recall? What was the reason?
9 A. The reason was the following: Upon entry into Srebrenica of the
10 other units, at Pribicevac there remained the communications centre, the
11 medical corps, and a couple of mechanised -- armoured mechanised vehicles,
12 a mortar unit of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, the communications centre of
13 the 3rd Infantry Battalion, logistics, the warehouse, the depots of the
14 battalion. One simply couldn't move forward towards Srebrenica and leave
15 all of that behind unprotected in the middle of the meadow.
16 Q. Was that because of the number of companies that you had available
17 to you at the time?
18 A. No. Even if we had had more companies, someone would have had to
19 stay behind to provide protection, so I don't think that was the reason.
20 Q. All right. Now, as a result of this particular order, could you
21 please tell us: How long did you hold your position?
22 A. We held the position until the 13th.
23 Q. Now, when you -- and when you received this order from your
24 commander, did you and the commander have some problems, so to speak?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I should say disagreements.
2 Could you please tell us or describe to us what and why.
3 A. It's very simple. The 3rd Infantry Battalion was mostly 70 to 75
4 per cent made up of the population -- of the local population of the
5 Srebrenica municipality.
6 Q. So what?
7 A. This meant that every soldier, including myself as the commander
8 who on the 9th of May was expelled from Srebrenica and on the 15th of May
9 evicted from my native village, and after three to three and a half years,
10 obviously I wanted to see my home. I wanted to see my house, which was
11 the case with all of the members of the 3rd Infantry Battalion. So more
12 or less, that would be the essence of this problem. I don't know to what
13 extent I'm making myself clear, but ...
14 Q. Well, let me see if I can figure it out. Is it that for three and
15 a half years, having been expelled from your houses, being able to see
16 them basically from your positions now that the line was free, you could
17 not go to the houses --
18 MS. ISSA: Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MS. ISSA: Perhaps Mr. Karnavas can find another way to phrase the
21 question because now he's just testifying. It's entirely leading and
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm merely summarising for the Court's convenience
24 and trying to get the gentleman to clarify his answer.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I believe that you have to ask
1 your question step by step.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: I know your gist in this question, but you have to lay
4 out some foundations and then go step by step.
5 MR. KARNAVAS:
6 Q. Want you to go back and explain your earlier answer a little bit.
7 You said that you had been expelled from your house or your homes around
8 the 15th of May, 1992.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now it's July 19 -- July 11th, 1995. First of all, could you
11 please --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you please tell us that location, was it a Muslim location?
14 A Serb location? A mixed -- an ethnically mixed location, where you had
15 been expelled from, you and your men?
16 A. The municipality of Srebrenica is a multi-ethnic municipality;
17 whereas, the individual locations were uni-ethnic, except for the town
19 Q. What about the villages where you came and some of your men came
20 from, were they all multi-ethnic?
21 A. No. The individuals were separate. There was one -- there would
22 be one Muslim and one Serb village.
23 Q. And from the period of May 15, 1992, to July 11, 1995, how many
24 Serbs were living in the Serb villages?
25 A. Not a single one.
1 Q. Who had ethnically cleansed those villages?
2 A. The BH army.
3 Q. How close were those villages to your line, the line that you held
4 for some two to three years, where the 3rd Battalion was located of the
5 Bratunac Brigade?
6 A. Depends. Some were located 500 metres in front of the line, and
7 some, such as mine, 5 to 6 kilometres.
8 Q. All right. And when was the first time that you and your men were
9 permitted to leave the line to visit your homes and your villages where
10 you had been ethnically cleansed from?
11 A. In the afternoon of the 13th of July, whoever was able to -- I
12 mean who lived closer by was permitted.
13 Q. And what was the disagreement with your commander, Mr. Blagojevic?
14 A. The soldiers wanted to enter together on the 11th and to visit
15 their homes and apartments within the town.
16 Q. When was the next order that you received from your commander?
17 When was it?
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, generally speaking, I do not
19 interfere into your direct examination, but as you did before, I believe
20 you have to ask some questions about the form of the first order, whether
21 this gentleman received any order on paper or by courier or by radio
22 communication so that we know there exists the order like this.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Would you please, sir, answer the President's question. That
25 order that you received on the 11th to maintain your positions and not to
1 go away from your positions, was it oral, was it written, was it by
2 courier, was it by radio, was it by telegram? How was it conveyed to you?
3 Or did the commander come personally to visit you, to tell you?
4 A. I think that I received it at Pribicevac directly and personally
5 from Colonel Blagojevic on the 11th.
6 Q. Where is Pribicevac?
7 A. The village of Pribicevac is located on the eastern slopes of
8 Srebrenica, or to be more precise, midway -- rather, in the middle of the
9 area of the 3rd Infantry Battalion. I cannot remember the exact elevation
10 point, but it was a Serb village. And that's where the command of the
11 3rd Infantry Battalion was located.
12 Q. Was anything else located in Pribicevac from the 6th of July to
13 the 11th or 12th of July, other than the command of the 3rd Infantry
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Would you please tell us what that was.
17 A. The corps communications centre. I think that the commanding
18 officer of the communications centre of the corps was Major Jevdzevic or
19 Jevdzo. And there was also the command of General Krstic.
20 Q. Would you please tell us about what time it was that you went to
21 the command post in Pribicevac on the 11th.
22 A. Sometime in the afternoon. I'm not sure about the exact hour. It
23 was a long time ago, but I'm sure that it was in the afternoon.
24 Q. How did you get there?
25 A. On foot.
1 Q. Who else was with you?
2 A. My courier, who was with me all the time at my forward command
4 Q. And your forward command post was exactly where during this
5 critical period?
6 A. 2 and a half to 3 kilometres south -- to the south. Javorov Vrh
7 or Brdo.
8 Q. Now, during this period from the 6th to the 11th, did you have any
9 means of communications between yourself and, say, your commander?
10 A. No, apart from regular reporting. I did not take part in active
11 fighting, so there was no need.
12 Q. Okay. But maybe I wasn't clear. Was there a way -- did you have
13 any means of communicating with your commander, such as a telephone, a
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Which of the two?
17 A. We had the RUP 12 equipment, with a communications person who was
18 operating it, and a Motorola.
19 Q. Just so we're clear, what is a RUP 12?
20 A. It's a radio station.
21 Q. Well, if you had a radio station and you had a Motorola, why
22 didn't you just call Colonel Blagojevic and talk to him over the Motorola
23 or over the radio? Why take the trouble to walk all the way to Pribicevac
24 to meet with him?
25 A. I don't know how familiar you are with the chain of command and
1 subordination, generally speaking. If you look at the command of
2 Colonel Blagojevic of the 5th of July --
3 Q. And that would be exhibit 406. Is there a particular paragraph
4 that we should look at?
5 A. Paragraph 12, which reads as follows: Forward regular daily
6 reports by 1700 hours and all other obligations coming from the commander,
7 I'm duty-bound to receive personally.
8 Q. All right. That's your understanding of the order or the
10 A. Also in light of the practice in principle. It was possible for
11 me to report on the situation to the commander, but from the commander
12 back to me -- well, I don't think it would have been contrary to practice
13 or to regulations, but in the military one is familiar with the usual
14 types of procedures, usual reporting and issuing of orders.
15 Q. All right. Now, if we look at this report, or this order I should
16 say, and we look at the tasks and the objectives, on July 11 - and you
17 said it was about 1400 hours when Srebrenica fell - could you please tell
18 us whether your tasks or whether -- with respect to this particular order,
19 the tasks in the order, whether they had been completed or not.
20 A. If you mean the overall orders --
21 Q. Yes. This one, this particular one. Now that Srebrenica had
22 fallen, was this the overall objective? Had it been met? As far as the
23 3rd Infantry Battalion is concerned, yes, it did carry out its orders.
24 And the order was to stay at the positions reached and to defend the
25 positions from there.
1 Q. Would you require another order before you could leave that
2 position, or could you on your own decide, well, based on this particular
3 order from the commander I have my tasks, Srebrenica has fallen, now I can
4 just go home, dismiss the men, have them go greet their families,
5 go visit their homes?
6 A. No.
7 Q. What is required before you can leave your positions?
8 A. What is required is that you know where the next position is going
9 to be, where to take up your next positions. And of course, that is
10 something received from the brigade commander. So I would personally
11 receive my following assignments from the brigade commander.
12 Q. And did you receive any other assignments after this one?
13 A. If I remember correctly, yes.
14 Q. Okay. Could you please tell us what was your next assignment,
15 that is after the one that you had received on the 11th, and that is to
16 maintain your positions, not to move, not to advance, to Srebrenica. What
17 was the next assignment?
18 A. On the 13th, we were supposed to cross -- to go across Srebrenica,
19 if I can put it that way, and to take up positions in the Bojna region,
20 which is the north or rather south-west, it's the south-western side of
22 Q. All right. I want to show you what has come in as an exhibit,
23 P483. It will be 483/B in Srpski. If you could please look at this.
24 First of all, do you recognise what this document is?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. And could you please tell us what is it.
2 A. It's an order for a ground search or search of the terrain.
3 Q. And what is the date of this particular order, sir?
4 A. The 14th of July.
5 Q. Now, could you please tell us which paragraph on this particular
6 order relates to your battalion.
7 A. Paragraph 3.
8 Q. Would you please tell us what is being requested of you in
9 your -- of your battalion in paragraph 3 of this order dated July 14,
11 A. It says to search the terrain around Obli Vis up to Gradac, up to
12 Zvijezda, to the left, Zeleni Jadar, Slapovici, Siljato Brdo, and the
13 command post of the battalion in the Bojna region.
14 Q. This area which you're being asked to search, is that in your
15 vicinity, the vicinity of the 3rd Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade?
16 A. Zeleni Jadar, yes; Slapovici, relatively; Siljato Brdo is quite
17 far off, but it is my native village, where the ethnic Serbian belt was
18 about 20 kilometres longitudinally and 11 in depth; the Bojna area was the
19 command post and the Serbian belt.
20 Q. All right. Could you please tell us whether this task that was
21 being ordered of you and your men was carried out.
22 A. When you asked me about the certain misunderstanding between me
23 and Blagojevic, that is to say, my superior commander, it referred to this
24 region. This area in the military sense -- actually, the terrain was not
25 searched in that area.
1 Q. Why not?
2 A. Because every soldier or group of soldiers, depending on whether
3 they lived in Viogor, Orahovica, Tura, whether they went to their homes.
4 Q. All right. Could you please describe to us normally what is the
5 procedure when searching a terrain, how is that done.
6 A. In the military sense, you mean?
7 Q. Yes, yes.
8 A. Search of the terrain means the development, or rather, my
9 battalion's dispersion all around and advance in the rear, in depth.
10 Q. Does that mean -- if I understand you correctly, does that mean
11 that you walk in single file on a path?
12 A. In this case, yes, and more than that.
13 Q. So the normal way, the proper way, of searching the terrain is
14 walking in a single file. Do I understand you correctly?
15 A. No. One beside another, breadth-wise. Yes, that way, that's
17 Q. And for the record, I'm spreading my hands and advancing forward.
18 Why would you do it that way? Why would you search the terrain in
19 that fashion?
20 A. Well, if there are any stragglers, groups of stragglers or
21 individuals, sabotage units, reconnaissance units, that kind of thing,
22 smaller groups.
23 Q. All right.
24 A. Of the enemy, of course.
25 Q. Now, in this particular case, if I understand your earlier
1 testimony, it wasn't done in this fashion, is that correct, in the proper
2 military fashion?
3 A. No, but I don't think there was any need for that either.
4 Q. All right. Well, why don't you tell us why it wasn't done in the
5 proper military fashion and why you think there wasn't any need of it.
6 A. Because these were exclusively Serbian villages and Serbian areas
7 and regions, which in 1992 were set fire to and destroyed. And it would
8 have been difficult to survive in an area like that, even for the
9 best-trained sabotage units.
10 Q. All right. And so how was the searching of the terrain done? If
11 it wasn't done in the proper military fashion, how was this task
13 A. From the Jadar area. Every soldier knew that he was supposed to
14 come to the Bojna area towards evening. And anybody could, at their own
15 will, go to their own homes and their native villages.
16 Q. Well, was this some sort of an arrangement so they could carry out
17 the order and visit their native villages as well? Is that what you're
18 telling us?
19 A. Between me and them, yes. That was the only way I could muster
20 them in the evening.
21 Q. Well, what about Colonel Blagojevic's order? Was he aware of
22 this, that this was being done?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Did you by any chance afterwards inform Colonel Blagojevic how his
25 order had been carried out, so that at least he would know that his order
1 was properly carried out pursuant to proper military procedure?
2 A. Well, the battalion in the Bojna area was there in the evening.
3 And in life, the superior officer need not know everything if it wasn't at
4 anybody's expense.
5 Q. All right. Now, I want to show you what has come into evidence,
6 Prosecution Exhibit 485, 485/B is the Srpski version. Would you please
7 look at this document. Could you please tell us what the document is.
8 A. This is the first time I see this document, just like the previous
10 Q. All right. But could you please tell us from looking at it what
11 it is, if you know, if you can tell.
12 A. As far as I can read this handwriting, I can see that this refers
13 to a platoon, and it says a Red Beret platoon. And it was sent to the
14 Milici area at 1600 hours with the task of joining up there, et cetera, et
16 Q. All right. Before we get to that on paragraph 2, my question, my
17 concrete question, to you is: What is this document? Sir. Mr. Zekic,
18 would you please tell us by looking at the top of the document what it is.
19 A. Well, nothing. It's a similar order to the previous one, and it
20 says to search the terrain in the area, and so on. I find it difficult to
22 Q. Okay. Well, perhaps we can let you look at this over the break,
23 at least in the translated version it says it's a daily combat report
24 dated July 14, 1995. Do you see that anywhere on this document?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps we can have a break at this point in time,
1 Your Honour --
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it's time for a break.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: And the gentleman can look at the document.
4 JUDGE LIU: And we'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
9 Q. Mr. Zekic, I trust you've had an opportunity to look at that
10 document a little more closely, and I'm referring to what has been marked
11 as P485. If I can go through that document step by step. Is that a daily
12 combat report?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And the date of it, am I correct in stating that it is 14 July
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. Now, we were talking about or you mentioned earlier about
18 paragraph 2. And it states there, and I'm going to read the translated
19 version. It says: "The Red Beret's platoon was sent at 1000 hours to the
20 area of Milici to join the task in the direction of Zepa."
21 Now, in the handwritten version that you are reading, the copy of
22 the original, does it state 1000 hours or is it 1600 hours?
23 A. 16.
24 Q. So that would be 4.00 in the afternoon, 4.00 p.m.?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, first of all could you please tell us whether these were the
2 same berets, same Red Berets, same platoon of Red Berets that were there
3 at the line with you from the 6th to the 11th that went off towards
4 Milici, assuming that this daily combat report is correct. Are they the
5 same Red Berets?
6 A. I assume so, yes.
7 Q. Were you aware that they had gone off to Milici?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Do you know with whom they had set off?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Now, we've heard testimony that Novica Pajic, a major, I believe,
12 was an individual that had gone in that direction with some members of the
13 Bratunac Brigade on that particular day. Do you know that gentleman?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And could you please tell us who that individual is.
16 A. Novica Pajic is a major within the composition of the brigade.
17 Q. What was his position, do you know?
18 A. I think he was an operations man.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. I'm not sure. I think he was an operations man.
21 Q. Now, you were asked about this individual when you gave your
22 statement back on 29 November 2001, which would have been a couple of
23 years after Mr. Blagojevic was indicted and after he was arrested. Now,
24 at that time you were asked questions about Mr. Pajic. Do you recall
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you had indicated him to be - well, for lack of a better
3 term - an alcoholic, one who consumed and after a couple of ounces of
4 rakija, he was done because he had consumed a lot of alcohol. And that
5 nobody -- he wasn't taken seriously.
6 Now, when you made that statement to the Office of the
7 Prosecution, was that a correct assessment, to your knowledge, of this
8 individual's character?
9 A. They asked me my personal opinion, so that is my personal opinion,
11 Q. And that personal opinion was formed based on your observations
12 and experience with this particular individual?
13 A. As far as I knew him, and I have to say that I spent little time
14 in that brigade composition with those men. So I didn't know people to a
15 great extent personally.
16 Q. But that was your opinion of this particular individual, this
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. Now, in this daily combat report, there is no
20 mentioning of anyone within the Bratunac Brigade coming across any Muslim
21 men, soldiers, stragglers, whatever they be, during any searching
22 operation. My question to you, sir, is: When you and your men set off to
23 conduct that search operation pursuant to the order that we just went
24 through earlier, albeit, it wasn't quite a searching operation pursuant to
25 proper military procedure, did or your men come across any Muslim men?
1 A. No. Neither.
2 Q. Okay. Did you come across any dead bodies in that area?
3 A. No.
4 Q. All right. Did you come across any weapons that might have been
5 left behind or dropped or what have you?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Would you please tell us what weapons, if any, were located and
8 where perhaps, if you recall.
9 A. Yes. A 155-millimetre cannon, positioned in the Viogor area; and
10 it had special optic sight geared towards our positions, and they were
11 quartz. Javorov Brdo, Pribicevac, that area, and they had 99 per cent
12 precision for this area of the battalion.
13 Q. All right. Do you recall whether that cannon, that 155-millimetre
14 cannon, had been fired during that period, that is from the 6th of July to
15 the 11th of July?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And how do you know about that?
18 A. We had a 155--millimetre cannon, too, at Pribicevac. And it
19 was -- and the two cannons targeted directly at each other, cannon against
20 cannon. When I say "we," I don't mean the 3rd Infantry Battalion or the
21 brigade, I mean the cannon that arrived from the corps. It was a
22 155-millimetre cannon.
23 Q. All right. Now, that was the 14th of July. Could you please tell
24 us what you did, if anything, on the 15th of July, 1995?
25 A. Well, in principle what we did on the 14th, we did on the 15th and
1 the 16th as well. So that means that I made use of the psychological rest
2 period of the soldiers and when they toured their own homes and
3 properties. But we could say that it was also a search, because from the
4 area of Bojna to the village of Osedak and Cumavici was 5 and a half or 6
5 kilometres. So they would have traversed the area. So while it wasn't a
6 classic search of the terrain, they would pass by that way and tell me
7 whether there was anyone or nobody. So it was a two-way sort of feedback
9 Q. And during that period, the 15th and the 16th, did anyone inform
10 you whether they had come across any prisoners?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you have any means of communication with these various groups
13 that were setting off in various directions searching the terrain?
14 A. Not with the groups, however in each of these -- in a couple of
15 groups I would have one communication device, which was the Motorola.
16 Q. All right. Did each of these groups have a Motorola or just you
17 and some of them?
18 A. No. Just the komandirs of the companies had Motorolas.
19 Q. All right. Now, during that period of time did you have any
20 contact with Colonel Blagojevic?
21 A. I don't remember. It's possible that there was a report or two,
22 but there were no special official contacts. But the reports were very
23 brief, like everything is okay. Simply, there was no need for any other
25 Q. All right. Now, during that period of time, say from the 11th or
1 the 12th of July and onwards, where were you staying at night?
2 A. I had certain obligations because I had spent May and June at the
3 hospital of the military academy in Belgrade. One of my toes had been
4 amputated. And it was necessary for me to visit regularly the health
5 centre in Bratunac, or rather, the infirmary in Bratunac. So I probably
6 spent every other night at home during that period of time.
7 Q. All right. Now, during the period of the evening of the 12th and
8 the 13th, in particular, did you become aware at any point in time that
9 there were Muslim men in buses in Bratunac as well as in the Vuk Karadzic
10 school and perhaps in another building?
11 A. Not on the 12th, because I was at Pribicevac. However, on the
12 13th, yes, I did have some information to this effect. But how many and
13 what, no. But I had a vague idea that something was happening.
14 Q. Okay. Now, when you say that you had some information, was that
15 information conveyed to you by someone, or was that something that you
16 personally observed and formed an opinion?
17 A. Not personally. They were just conveyed to me.
18 Q. All right. And when this information was conveyed to you, did
19 anyone tell you what the plan was, what was expected to happen of those
20 individuals that were kept in buses or in schools?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Didn't you ask, since you were -- you know, you and your family, I
23 presume were living in that area, didn't you ask: What's going to happen
24 with these people? Why are they -- doing in the middle of the town?
25 A. Now, if we go back to the order issued by the commander,
1 Blagojevic, it was my assumption that they would be treated in accordance
2 with Geneva Conventions. I was to a certain extent aware of the contents
3 and the meaning of the Geneva Conventions, and I considered those people
4 to be prisoners.
5 Q. All right. Since then - let's just get this out of the way - have
6 you heard whether those people were treated in accordance with the Geneva
8 A. A certain number of people, yes, according to the information that
9 I have. But others, no.
10 Q. All right. When we say "others" what are we talking about? A
11 small percentage of the men that were separated in Potocari, that were
12 taken to Bratunac? Or are we talking about a large percentage? So what
13 is it?
14 MS. ISSA: Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MS. ISSA: I'm objecting to this. It's obviously leading in
17 nature, and I think that Mr. Karnavas can certainly formulate his question
18 in a non-leading fashion.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think so. I think the answer of this
20 witness is very weak. It is the responsibility for the counsel to clarify
21 this issue.
22 Maybe you could put your question another way.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I will, Your Honour.
24 Q. Could you please tell us, sir - and I believe you were asked this
25 when you were in Banja Luka - but could you please tell us: What have you
1 heard with respect to those people that were captured, the men, the Muslim
2 men? And could you please give us an approximation of the figures that
3 you heard.
4 A. My initial information was that the prisoners would be leaving for
5 Tuzla. At that time while I was at Pribicevac, I wasn't aware of what was
6 going on in Potocari. I did not know that people were being separated at
7 Potocari. I wasn't aware of anything at that time. Later, when I arrived
8 in Bratunac, I received information to the effect that 2 to 3.000
9 able-bodied men were being held at the Vuk Karadzic elementary school, but
10 that they, too, were supposed to go to Tuzla. And that was all I knew at
11 the time.
12 Q. Since then, have you heard what has happened to those people?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what is that, sir? What is it that you heard?
15 A. I do not recall the date, but it was during that period of time.
16 I know that genocide was committed in Kravica against a number of people;
17 whereas, a number of people were taken towards Zvornik.
18 Q. All right. Now, when did you learn about Kravica? And I presume
19 that we're speaking about the incident at the Kravica agricultural
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you tell us approximately when it was that you heard of this
24 A. It would have been most probably sometime around the 14th or the
25 15th of July. But again, I'm not sure of the dates. But it was during
1 that period.
2 Q. All right. Now, we talked about the 14th, the 15th, and the 16th.
3 So now we're on July 17, 1995. Would you please tell us what, if
4 anything, or what, if any, orders did you receive on that particular day;
5 and what, if anything, did you and your men do pursuant to any orders that
6 you might have received on that particular day?
7 A. One day - again, I'm not sure about the date - one day I took part
8 in the search of the Glogova/Sandici area.
9 Q. All right. Well, how many days did you actually search? Let's
10 stick with -- start with that.
11 A. One.
12 Q. All right. Could you please tell us who else was searching the
13 terrain when you were out there.
14 A. The 3rd Battalion -- actually, what remained of it, one half of
15 it, which was still located in the area of Bojna. The other part of the
16 battalion took part in the search, and we had additional 30 to 40 people
17 who were performing their work obligation; namely, that is people of
18 limited physical capacities, either because they were elderly or some
19 other reason. So it was in that area to my right, when looking to the
20 Bratunac/Glogova/Sandici/Konjevic Polje communication. A gentleman was
21 also taking part in this activity; I saw him for a couple of minutes only.
22 He told me his name was Jevic or Jevric. So this was my first and my last
23 encounter with this gentleman.
24 Q. All right. Well, let's stick with this particular gentleman.
25 Now, do you recall which unit he was with?
1 A. No. But they wore camouflage uniforms. They were well-dressed.
2 But again, I don't know which unit he belonged to.
3 Q. All right. But would it be fair to say that he was the commander
4 of that unit? Was he commanding the unit? Or was he just one of the
5 members of the unit?
6 A. If you're referring to his unit, yes. He was probably a unit
7 commander, but I don't know exactly what formation this was, what kind of
8 unit they were.
9 Q. All right. Did you notice any other officers from the Bratunac
11 A. If you're referring to active-duty personnel, no. But the
12 coordinator on behalf of the brigade was Mico Gavric. And then there was
13 myself -- or the 3rd Battalion, which was directly subordinated to
14 Mico Gavric.
15 Q. All right. Now, the -- so if I understand your answer correctly,
16 Mico Gavric was your superior for this particular task?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, physically in what condition were you in in that period, in
19 that particular day, if you recall?
20 A. Generally speaking throughout that period of time, ever since from
21 the 25th or 26th of June up until September, I moved around with
22 difficulty. I had had surgery on my leg. The tendons had to be
23 connected. So I moved very slowly, and all the time until we returned
24 from Zepa, sometime in August. So I had a lot of difficulty moving around
25 throughout that period of time.
1 Q. In light of your physical condition, could you please tell us
2 whether on that particular day you were with your men carrying out this
3 searching operation.
4 A. In a command sense, yes, but not in the actual search.
5 Q. Could you please elaborate a little bit. What do you mean by:
6 "In the command sense, yes, but not in the actual search"?
7 A. Well, in many cases it is perfectly normal for the commander or
8 the commanding officer to be part of his unit. Due to my physical
9 condition, I could not be with the members of the unit. I was -- to the
10 side of my unit, I was using the Glogova/Sandici route. I had a driver,
11 and I was moving around in an ambulance with my driver.
12 Q. All right. And where was Mico Gavric at this time, if you recall?
13 A. Mico Gavric was to my right. And once we received the tasking, I
14 didn't see him anymore.
15 Q. All right. What about the other gentleman that you referred to,
17 A. Mr. Jevic was also to my right, the area of Hrncici and Lolici,
18 thereabouts. So he was not with me.
19 Q. All right. Do you know whether you had been given any
20 instructions by Mr. Gavric, who was your superior at that point in time,
21 as to whether you were to give instructions to any of Jevic's men, or
22 perhaps even Jevic himself?
23 A. Not to Jevic, but to me, yes.
24 Q. Now, during that -- could you please tell us, first of all, about
25 what time you started and about what time you finished.
1 A. We started with the introduction sometime around 10.00. And we
2 finished at around 1600. So we worked for about five to six hours, and I
3 returned to Bratunac sometime around 6.00 or 7.00 p.m. The visibility was
4 still very good because it was summertime.
5 Q. Could you please tell us whether during that period of time when
6 your men and the others were searching the terrain, whether any prisoners
7 were taken.
8 A. Yes. Not by my people, but by Jevic's people.
9 Q. All right. Do you recall what the figure was, how many?
10 A. I think between 30 and 40 people, maybe 50, but that would have
11 been a maximum, from what I could see.
12 Q. Do you know, sir, what happened to these prisoners?
13 A. Well, now I know more or less, but I didn't at the time. The
14 prisoners remained below the Sandici/Lolici/Konjevic Polje road on a
16 Q. Do you know what the plans were for these men? Where were they to
17 be taken?
18 A. In a brief communication, I learnt that they would be going to
19 Bijeljina. And it was the first time that I actually learnt that there
20 was something at Bijeljina.
21 Q. Well, when did this brief communication take place and with whom?
22 A. With Jevic personally.
23 Q. Now, I take it before you set off for this searching operation,
24 there must have been some discussion as to what, if anything, would be
25 done with any prisoners that might have been captured?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Could you please tell us to the best of your recollection what, if
3 anything, was discussed as to how these prisoners would be treated, what
4 would be done, where would they go, who would take care of it, and so on.
5 A. The order came from Mico Gavric, who was the coordinator on behalf
6 of the brigade, and I received that order, whereby we were supposed to
7 take -- bring the prisoners to the road and that they should be treated in
8 accordance with Geneva Conventions, namely that no harm should be done to
10 Q. All right. And just if you could help us out here a little bit.
11 Could you tell us where did this conversation take place?
12 A. In the Sandici area.
13 Q. And I take it this was an oral -- would you consider this an oral
14 order, or was this just a discussion? How did you take that?
15 A. It was an oral order. There was no discussion.
16 Q. All right. Were you familiar with the Geneva Convention by that
17 point in time, in light of your training?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, let me -- oh, incidentally, was the commander of the
20 4th Battalion there, Radika Petrovic? Was he there on that particular
21 day? Did you see him?
22 A. Not with me.
23 Q. All right. I'm not suggesting that he was there; I'm merely
24 asking whether you saw him.
25 A. No.
1 Q. All right. Now, let me show you a document which is Exhibit P503.
2 Please look at it. Can you read it, sir? Is it legible?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. Could you please tell us what it is.
5 A. This is a daily combat report of the brigade commander.
6 Q. All right. Now, I want to focus -- and what is the date on it,
8 A. 18th of July.
9 Q. Now, I want to focus your attention to paragraph 2. Please look
10 at it. And I'll just read it into the record. It says: "During the day,
11 our units, the 3rd Infantry Battalion, the 4th Infantry Battalion, and
12 people mobilised for compulsory labour are searching the terrain in the
13 area of Pobudje, Hrncici and Konjevic Polje."
14 Is that what it says in your document as well?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, could you please tell us whether this was the area that was
17 being searched by you and your unit on that particular day, if you recall.
18 A. Glogova, Sandici, Hrncici, yes; Pobudje and Konjevic Polje, no.
19 Q. Now, you said Glogova, Glogova is not reflected on the English
20 translation, but it's there on the -- in the handwritten version.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right. Now, let me show you another document. And this has
24 been marked for identification purposes as D135. Please look at that. Do
25 you recognise this document? Do you recognise what it is, I should say?
1 A. Yes, it's a daily combat report of the brigade commander.
2 Q. And what is the date on this, sir?
3 A. 19th of July.
4 Q. Now, if you could look at paragraph 2, there's some language
5 there. And there is a part that says: "The 3rd Battalion is securing the
6 road from the village of Glogova to Konjevic Polje."
7 And then it states that they don't know what happened to the
8 4th Battalion. Now, with respect to the 3rd Battalion, on that particular
9 day, July 19, 1995, were you and your battalion securing the road from the
10 village of Glogova to Konjevic Polje, if you recall?
11 A. Glogova, yes; Sandici, yes; Konjevic Polje, no.
12 Q. Now, when it says: "Securing the road," could you please explain
13 to us what exactly that entails, what does that mean?
14 A. In principle, it means a safe passage for civilian and military,
15 also population on all of these communication lines, Konjevic Polje,
16 Milici, Vlasenica, and others. So no activity whatsoever, just providing
17 security to the passing traffic, no searches, nothing.
18 Q. All right. Now, were any prisoners captured on that particular
19 day? Did you come across any Muslim men who were trying to make their way
20 to the -- to Tuzla?
21 A. No, not on that part. But we were located there. We did not have
22 any searching tasks. We were just supposed to be there to provide
23 security to the route.
24 Q. All right. So you were on -- well, tell us exactly where you were
25 located, physically speaking. Was it the terrain? Was it the asphalt
1 road? Was it somewhere in between?
2 A. Next to the asphalt road.
3 Q. Could you please tell us who it was that issued you that order,
4 putting you in that location to secure that stretch of the road.
5 A. If my memory serves me right, it was Major Eskic.
6 Q. Could you please tell us for how many days you were in that
7 location carrying out that specific activity.
8 A. Until we left for Zepa, so the securing of the road in that area,
9 and also we were in charge of the area of Bojna, just above Srebrenica, at
10 that time.
11 Q. Now, on the 18th of July, 1995, did you by any chance see any
12 buses in the area of I believe it's Lolici in the evening, buses full of
13 Muslim men?
14 A. Not on that day, I didn't see that.
15 Q. Were you there during the evening hours, late afternoon/early
16 evening hours, on that particular day?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Do you recall whether Colonel Blagojevic was around the Bratunac
19 area on that particular day, the 18th, the 19th, those days?
20 A. No. I received the order from Major Eskic, not from Blagojevic,
21 so no.
22 Q. Now, if I understand your testimony correctly, it was only one day
23 that you searched the terrain. Correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. On that particular day, you indicated there was Mico Gavric and a
1 gentleman named Jevic, and then some 30 to 40 prisoners who were captured.
2 Could you tell us whether among those prisoners, whether there were any
3 children, if you recall.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could you please tell us, to the best of your knowledge, what
6 happened to those children.
7 A. The children remained in the area just above the road near water.
8 When I went there for the last time, the children were having dinner,
9 which had been given to them by Mico Gavric. And they remained there.
10 Q. All right. Do you know who was responsible or who took
11 responsibility for the children?
12 A. From my point of view, it should have been Mico Gavric, as the
13 coordinator representing the brigade.
14 Q. All right. Now -- again, just to make sure I understand or to
15 make sure that we have it in the record, when was it that you left for
17 A. I don't know the date. Perhaps it might have been the 20th, 21st.
18 But anyway, it was in the evening hours and Colonel Blagojevic greeted us
19 up there, but I'm not sure of the date.
20 Q. All right. Now, from the period of time that Srebrenica fell,
21 that would be 11 July 1995 to the time that you left for Zepa, did you or
22 your men come across any prisoners at all?
23 A. Except for the 18th, not on any other day.
24 Q. And that's when we're talking about the searching of the terrain
25 with Mr. Jevic. Correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, the Prosecution has contended that the Serb officers got
3 together and planned the execution of all the men that they could get
4 their hands on among the able-bodied men that were either in Potocari or
5 that they could capture later in the field. Were you at any time given
6 any orders or did you ever become aware of any orders or any such plan
7 that you were to capture and execute any Muslims that you could get your
8 hands on?
9 A. Not me, no.
10 Q. Do you know whether any of your men, whether they had orders or
11 otherwise, or otherwise, in light of what had been going on in that area
12 for the last three or four years, do you know if any of your men were
13 engaged in any atrocities?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now, we have a report by one of the employees of the Office of the
16 Prosecution. He's no longer with them, but he was working with them, and
17 he made a report. And he indicates that there is a particular soldier by
18 the name of Slavoljub Grujicic, as a member of the 3rd Battalion. Was he
19 by any chance, to your recollection, a member of your battalion?
20 A. No.
21 Q. All right. Well, just to make sure, let me show you what is being
22 marked for identification purposes as D143. And I should note for the
23 record that translation is pending.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: This was a document that we obtained from the
25 Office of the Prosecution, and it's a roster.
1 Q. Now, I believe I've designated an area for you to look at in order
2 to --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. Do you see the name of Slavoljub Grujicic? I believe I'm
5 pronouncing the name correctly.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, could you please tell us whether according to this roster
8 provided to us by the Office of the Prosecution dated July 1995, whether
9 this individual was a member of the 3rd Battalion.
10 A. No.
11 Q. All right. Now, when you were in Banja Luka, I believe they did
12 show you a photograph of a gentleman by the name of Tanasijevic. Do you
13 recall that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And he was in front of an APC smoking. They caught him just in
16 the moment when he was taking a big drag.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was he a member of your -- of the 3rd Battalion?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Had you given him any orders to go anywhere with that APC, you
21 specifically? Had you given him any orders?
22 A. On the 12th, yes.
23 Q. All right. And where was he on his way to? Where was he going?
24 A. When they were leaving, that is to say, the other equipment, he
25 went to Bratunac, too. The APC was faulty, the caterpillar part, track,
1 was faulty, so he was taken it to Bratunac to be repaired.
2 Q. I take it if it needed to be repaired, it had some problems with
3 it. Would you please describe to us to the best of your recollection the
4 working condition of this APC, this ominous-looking piece of machinery.
5 A. It was an APC, an armoured personnel carrier. It was the first
6 official armoured carrier. It was 1995. And it was a vehicle that was 35
7 years old. When the events in Srebrenica were taking place, it did not
8 take part in any combat operations; it wasn't used for that. And I came
9 across it at Pribicevac. And I think it served for morale boosting rather
10 than combat operations, because it wasn't capable of being used for
11 manoeuvres and speedy movement.
12 Q. All right. Well, if it was capable of morale boosting, its
13 appearance itself would have some ominous effect on those who were on the
14 receiving end of viewing that APC, would it not?
15 A. As to the other side, the opposite side, it wasn't able to see it,
16 except its reconnoitering units, if they used units of that kind because
17 it wasn't to the forefront; it was in the back facing downwards. So it
18 wasn't actually visible from that side.
19 Q. All right. But the Prosecution's theory is that it was sent
20 there, whether it was operational or not, it was sent there, at least by
21 its mere presence, that in and of itself would have this -- would cause
22 this fear on those who were viewing it, such as the people from Srebrenica
23 who were leaving towards Potocari. So my question is: Was it sent
24 there -- was it sent to Potocari to have some sort of a -- an effect on
25 the Muslim citizens of Srebrenica that were leaving and going to Potocari?
1 A. No. No, I explained this question in Banja Luka. And if
2 necessary, I can explain it again briefly. It happened quite by chance.
3 From Pribicevac it was going to Sase, Pobrdje, Bratunac. So on the 12th
4 when it was returning to Bratunac to be repaired, it wasn't -- it didn't
5 use the Potocari/Bratunac/Srebrenica communication at all, or road. It
6 used the Pribicevac/Sase/Bjelovac Road, Pobrdje, Bratunac, so that it was
7 used along the route that we took to reach our positions. And after it
8 was repaired, it was supposed to go on the 13th, that is to say, when we
9 were at Bojna, the APC was supposed to appear at Bojna, since the
10 caterpillar section was taken off very quickly. It just takes a couple of
11 minutes. On the 13th - and actually I talked later on to them, there was
12 a mistake. And on the 13th, they were told, you don't have to go right
13 round, take a roundabout route, you can go to Srebrenica by Potocari and
14 climb up to Bojna. So this was a mistake, lack of information, and it was
15 because of that that it started up that route, in that direction. There
16 wasn't any purpose to it, or intent, it just happened.
17 Q. Thank you. Now I want to move to another section. I have a
18 couple of matters left, just some clean-up matters we talked earlier
19 about the Red Berets. First of all, I will be handing you what has been
20 marked for identification purposes as D141. And before we get to this
21 document itself, if you could please tell us, who is -- who are the Red
22 Berets responsible to? You told us that there was one or two platoons or
23 one platoon I believe that was attached to the 3rd Battalion. Was there
24 another platoon of Red Berets?
25 A. As far as I know, from August 1994, since the death of their
1 commander, Bosko, the company was divided half and half, into two
2 platoons. One platoon was led by Brodonovic Prodanovic. I forget his
3 first name. And the second platoon was led by Rade Petrovic.
4 Q. All right. Now, were they attached -- both of these platoons,
5 were they permanently or temporarily or occasionally attached to the
6 3rd Battalion?
7 A. The platoon led by Rade Petrovic was just from June to July, so
8 for those 10 or 15 days, in actual fact attached. But according to my
9 information, it was attached at that point in time when the forces of the
10 BH army launched a classical ambush by coming out of the zone and killing
11 six policemen, 3 kilometres in front of the UN forces in front of the
12 Zeleni Jadar/Kragivoda communication line or road. And at that time, the
13 Red Beret platoon was sent from Bratunac to, as we say in the army, to
14 pull out the dead. There weren't any wounded because all of them were
15 killed, so they were sent to pull out the dead. And as my battalion was
16 about 37 or 8 kilometres away from Bratunac at that distance, the arrival
17 of these forces was an additional time. And they didn't actually mean
19 Q. All right. Who sent them, if you know?
20 A. Probably the brigade commander.
21 Q. So can we say that the Red Berets were members of the
22 Bratunac Brigade? Were they official members of the Bratunac Brigade?
23 Let me put it that way.
24 A. Of the Bratunac Brigade, yes.
25 Q. All right. Now, you spoke about the one platoon. What about the
1 other platoon?
2 A. The other platoon was never in that terrain, and I think that at
3 that point in time it was not in Bratunac either.
4 Q. All right. Now, let's look at -- just incidentally, there
5 was -- one name has popped up, an individual who was taken to the
6 hospital, I believe killed, in the afternoon of 13 July 1995. It says in
7 Kravica. Slavoljub Mladjenovic -- no, that's not him. I'm sorry.
8 It's --
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
10 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I don't believe the person is -- was
11 killed. He was, in fact, wounded and just not to mischaracterise the
12 facts. And also, the question is leading.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. Do you know a gentleman by the name of I believe it's Stanojevic?
16 The Prosecution claims that he was killed in -- or he was injured in the
17 Kravica warehouse atrocity on the afternoon of the 13th.
18 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, again, that's a very leading question.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: It's not leading at all. I asked him if he knows
20 the gentleman. It's a fact that the Prosecution over and over and over
21 again has suggested that the --
22 MS. ISSA: Well --
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think you could leave the second
24 part of the question and just ask a very simple question.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I was putting my case to
1 this witness.
2 Q. Could you tell us: Do you know this individual?
3 A. No.
4 Q. All right. Now, if we look at D141, the document that I just
5 handed you. All right. Do you -- could you please tell us what this
6 document is.
7 A. The handover of weapons and ammunition from the Crvene Beretke
8 warehouse to the 3rd Infantry Battalion warehouse.
9 Q. And what is the date, sir, on this document?
10 A. The date is the 18th of January, in the typed-out text, and in the
11 handwritten text it says the 31st of January.
12 Q. All right. Now, do you see your signature on this document?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. All right. You recognise it as being your signature, not somebody
15 signing your name for you?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Okay. So that is your signature?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. Now, what does this document mean?
20 A. I think that at the time what happened was -- well, probably the
21 difference is in the dates. On the 18th of January, I was not there, I
22 was probably around Trnovo, in the Trnovo area, and I probably signed the
23 document on the 31st of January. I think that's what happened. But this
24 is yet another piece of evidence showing that the Red Berets were not
25 composition of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, that they had their own
1 warehouses and their own command, and that they kept that throughout that
2 time. Probably this handover took place when it took place; that's not
3 being challenged. And I assume they could have turned this over to the
4 1st Battalion or the 2nd Battalion. That's not the important point. They
5 decided upon the 3rd Battalion probably because the commander or rather
6 the komandir and my deputy were related, actually they were father and
7 son. Now, the combat operations had ceased after the signing of the
8 Dayton Accord, so that in principle that would be it.
9 Q. I just want to make sure that one point is crystal clear. You
10 said that there was some significance with respect to the two warehouses,
11 if I understand you correctly, that the Red Berets had --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. -- theirs and the 3rd Battalion had their own. Now, why is that
14 significant? Why should we care at all?
15 A. Well, the only important thing, as far as I see it, is if somebody
16 insists upon the fact that the Red Berets belonged exclusively to the
17 3rd Battalion, to the 3rd Infantry Battalion. Only in that context would
18 it be significance. Otherwise, in any other context, I can't see what
19 this would be. But if somebody has a specific question, I should be happy
20 to answer.
21 Q. All right. Well, let me be a little more precise. Why are you
22 suggesting, rather emphatically, might I say, that the Red Berets were not
23 part of the 3rd Battalion? What is in this document that at least gives
24 credence to your observations or your beliefs that the Red Berets were not
25 part of the 3rd Battalion?
1 A. Because it supplies from their warehouse, the warehouse of the
2 Red Berets into the warehouse of the 3rd Infantry Battalion. So since
3 they were established in 1992, they were an independent autonomous unit.
4 And I draw that conclusion from this context. When you were reading the
5 order from Mr. Blagojevic, in fact, where it states auxiliary forces to
6 attack and so on and so forth, so in that context -- otherwise, the
7 Red Berets as Red Berets, per se, I don't have any bad information about
9 Q. All right.
10 A. Quite simply, let me make this clear once again, that they weren't
11 within the composition of the 3rd Infantry Battalion. That is to say,
12 they were not under my command.
13 Q. All right. Now, I want to show you one last document, a document
14 dated July 4, 1994. Were you a member of the Bratunac Brigade during this
15 period, 4 July 1994?
16 A. No.
17 Q. When did you become a member of the -- just refresh our memories
18 again. When did you become --
19 A. In mid-February 1995.
20 Q. That's when you returned from military academy, the schooling?
21 A. No. I completed my schooling on the 20th of June, 1994. And
22 after that, I went to the 1st Guard's. Three months later, I was wounded
23 on the 1st of October, 1994. And until February, I was undergoing
25 Q. All right.
1 A. And I continued my treatment in May and June.
2 Q. So there was this gap when you were not with the Bratunac Brigade?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, when you came back to the Bratunac Brigade, were you informed
5 that there was this policy that was based on this information, drafted by
6 the previous commander of the Bratunac Brigade, a Lieutenant Colonel
7 Ognjenovic, and that you were to carry out this particular policy? Were
8 you informed of that?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Have you ever seen this document?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did your newly arrived commander, Colonel Blagojevic, when he came
13 did he ever rally the troops, rally the commanders and tell them that he
14 was going to carry on the policies set out in this information piece by
15 Mr. -- by Lieutenant Colonel Ognjenovic? Did he ever say any such thing?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Were you aware prior to coming here today that this document
19 A. No.
20 Q. How is that? You are a commander of a battalion. How can you
21 possibly not know that Lieutenant Colonel Ognjenovic drafted this very
22 important information sheet that the Prosecution is anchoring part of
23 their theory of the Prosecution? How can you not know that?
24 MS. ISSA: Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MS. ISSA: It's clearly not necessary, the latter part of
2 Mr. Karnavas's question, and it's very, very leading.
3 JUDGE LIU: Absolutely, I agree with you.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: That was my last question, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, by the way, Mr. Karnavas. Would you for the
6 sake of the record, would you tell us the identification number of this
7 document, just for the sake of the record.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: The very famous one, the 4 July 1994, that's D132.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 You may rephrase your question.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Well --
12 JUDGE LIU: Without the last part.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll try to edit myself, Your Honours.
14 Q. How is it, how is it, that you don't know about this document?
15 Can you explain it to us.
16 A. Well, during that period of time I wasn't there. I'm not sure
17 whether it existed in the archives of the battalion that I inherited, and
18 that article that I saw I don't know how far it is realistic. If the
19 United Nations had normal communication and normal channels of bringing in
20 food, Medicines sans frontiers were entering Srebrenica, I really don't
21 know. I have no definition, no explanation.
22 Q. Thank you very much, sir. I really appreciate your answers.
23 Mr. Stojanovic may have some questions; he represents Mr. Jokic. I'm sure
24 the Prosecution will have some questions, as may the Judges. If you could
25 be as honest and forthright with them as you have been with me, I would
1 appreciate it. Thank you for coming here.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stojanovic, do you think you have any
3 questions to this witness?
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
5 Good morning, Mr. Zekic.
6 Our Defence team has no questions for this witness, in view of his
7 testimony here today.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Mr. Karnavas, we haven't received the witness list for the next
10 week. If it is prepared, could we be furnished during the break or this
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it should have been furnished, Your Honour,
13 but probably the troops were waiting for the commander to look over the
14 final order. So I will make sure that we will have it for you, perhaps as
15 early as when we come back from the break.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, the rule we have been working on is
19 two weeks, so if Commander Karnavas could get us the week for the
20 following week, that would be helpful for us as well.
21 JUDGE LIU: That's what I'm going to say on this particular issue.
22 Well, it's time for a break and we'll resume at 12.30.
23 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa, any cross-examination?
1 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
2 Cross-examined by Ms. Issa:
3 Q. Sir, I just want to start off with a few questions that relate to
4 how long you've known Colonel Blagojevic. Can you tell us that.
5 A. From the time he was appointed up until the time I was demobilised
6 in 1996. So it would have been from late May 1995 until the 20th of
7 April, 1996.
8 Q. Okay. So you didn't know him before May, before he was appointed
9 as commander?
10 A. No.
11 Q. You hadn't heard of him before that?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did Colonel Blagojevic have a nickname while he was commander?
14 A. No, as far as I know.
15 Q. Now, I believe you told us that at some point during May until
16 mid-June you were in Belgrade. Is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In April the Dutch had an observation post near -- right outside
19 of Srebrenica. Isn't that right?
20 A. I'm not sure which one you had in mind. There were three OPs in
21 the area above Srebrenica -- actually, four. So I don't know which one
22 you are referring to. There was Zalazje, Kozarica, Zeleni Jadar, and
23 another one in the area of Bojna.
24 Q. Okay. Well, I'm talking about the one at Zeleni Jadar, and you're
25 obviously telling us that you are aware that there was this observation
1 post there at that time, isn't that right, in April of 1995?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, when you came back from Belgrade, was the observation post at
4 Zeleni Jadar still there?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Can you tell us what happened to it.
7 A. According to the information that I have, they moved 100 metres
8 back towards Srebrenica, after the killing of police officers. After that
9 incident, a general revolt occurred. Both civilian and military leaders
10 were dissatisfied with the members of the United Nations.
11 Q. Were you aware of Operation Jadar?
12 A. Yes, I had information to that effect.
13 Q. Okay. And you were aware that the Bosnian Serb army in that
14 operation attacked the observation post, resulting in its abandonment by
15 the DutchBat at -- on -- which began May 31st and was abandoned about June
16 5th? Are you aware of that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay. Do you know whether the Bratunac Brigade was involved in
19 the -- in this attack?
20 A. To my knowledge, it was not a major attack. As far as I know,
21 Momir Nikolic was involved in negotiations. So far as I know, it was not
22 a very serious countdown or attack. I don't think that fire was opened.
23 Q. Well, the question was, sir: Do you know whether the
24 Bratunac Brigade was involved in the attack?
25 A. It's a very general question. Attack involves both direct attacks
1 and infantry fighting. And according to the information that I have,
2 there was no direct conflict.
3 Q. Well, wasn't it an attack such that it caused the DutchBat to
4 actually leave the post, to abandon it? Wasn't it to such a significant
5 degree that they would abandon the post?
6 A. According to the information that I have, right above UNPROFOR
7 there were forces of Bosnian Muslims. Our unit caused the Bosnian forces
8 to move. And the UN checkpoint was in a semi-encirclement in the control
9 of the VRS forces, because above the checkpoint to the east or the
10 south-east of the checkpoint were the positions of Bosnian Muslims.
11 Q. All right. When you said it was in the control of the VRS forces,
12 did that include the Bratunac Brigade?
13 A. Partly, yes.
14 Q. So what you're telling us is that the Bratunac Brigade were, in
15 fact, involved in the Jadar operation. Isn't that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. I'd like to go back to what was discussed in the latter
18 part of the examination-in-chief. I understand you identified from the
19 photograph two of your men, Milomir Tanasijevic and somebody called
20 Zivanovic as being at Potocari on the 13th of July?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, by way of reminder maybe we can take a look at that
23 photograph, it's at P22, chapter 16, page 1. Now, the gentleman in the
24 centre sitting out on the top of the APC that's marked as number 2, that
25 was Milomir Tanasijevic. Isn't that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. And who is the other gentleman that's right behind him
3 marked number 1?
4 A. Zivanovic.
5 Q. He, too, was part of the 3rd Infantry Battalion. Right?
6 A. Yes, from late June 1995, I think.
7 Q. And this photograph was taken in Potocari. Right?
8 A. Yes. If it's in Potocari, yes. I don't think it can be
9 contested, because here in the foreground we see these three individuals,
10 but I cannot quite make out the background. But, yes, I think that's it.
11 Q. All right. When you were asked about these individuals in
12 the -- at Banja Luka by the Office of the Prosecutor investigators, didn't
13 you tell them that you weren't aware that these men were in Potocari at
14 the time?
15 A. No. Because they had left for Bratunac. I didn't know when they
16 would set off as escort for this APC.
17 Q. And they didn't report to you that they went to Potocari?
18 A. No.
19 Q. What about Sreten Petrovic, were you aware that he was in Potocari
20 on the 13th of July? He was the deputy commander of the 3rd Battalion.
22 A. Yes. But Sreten Petrovic was injured on the 9th of July, and as
23 far as I was concerned he was out of the battalion and the brigade until
24 the 17th of September, 1995, he was officially in therapy, undergoing
25 treatment. According to the information that I had, he apparently
1 remained at the Zvornik hospital. As to when and how he arrived, I don't
2 know. It was not possible for me to have that information at the time,
3 because officially he was wounded on the 9th of July, and as far as I was
4 concerned he was hors de combat.
5 Q. So he didn't report to you that he was going into Potocari at all,
6 he didn't mention that to you?
7 A. It was not possible for Sreten to report to me, because at the
8 time I was at Pribicevac, in the area of Pribicevac, and Sreten was
9 undergoing treatment at the Zvornik hospital.
10 Q. Well, he clearly wasn't undergoing treatment if he was in Potocari
11 on 13th July, was he?
12 A. Yes. Now, I know. But I learned this only after Banja Luka,
13 because we went together to Banja Luka. And it was only after my
14 interview that I learned how Sreten Petrovic had ended up in Potocari on
15 the 12th, 12th of July. Apparently he had a visit on that day, and on his
16 own he requested to be discharged. He asked the doctor to discharge him.
17 So he got into a car and he left Bratunac.
18 Q. Would it be fair to say then that his injuries weren't so extreme,
19 given that he would be able to leave, ask the doctor discharged him, and
20 go to Potocari? Isn't that right?
21 A. I think that that was my answer to the gentleman. He had
22 sustained gunshot wounds, but Mr. Sreten Petrovic is a very strong man of
23 a very strong build. I think he has complete medical documentation to
24 that effect. He, I think, left that documentation in Banja Luka, and one
25 could clearly see that he had sustained gunshot, entry and exit, wounds.
1 And apparently his build was such that it enabled him to be able to move,
2 to walk again, three days later. I don't think that it would be the case
3 with everyone, but Sreten Petrovic was able to walk after that.
4 Q. And why wouldn't he come back to the battalion to help you in the
5 middle of all that was going on at the time? Why was he still officially
6 gone from the battalion?
7 A. He had crutches and pins. He could not be of any help. I mean,
8 it's one thing for him to be able to walk with his left leg and with the
9 help of his left arm, but otherwise he could not walk normally.
10 Q. Weren't you wounded during that period as well?
11 A. I was injured on the 1st of October, 1994. But in May and June, I
12 underwent additional surgery.
13 Q. Did you go to Potocari on the 12th and 13th of July?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Why not?
16 A. The order of my commander was to remain at Pribicevac.
17 Q. Was there any other reason that you didn't go?
18 A. Well, I had no business at Potocari. My wish was to enter my
19 hometown on the 11th, but not Potocari. Potocari doesn't have any meaning
20 for me.
21 Q. Well, when you were asked this question by the investigator, sir,
22 didn't you tell them that you didn't go to Potocari because you couldn't
23 get in, because of the police checkpoint?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: If we could have the question and then the answer.
2 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, it's not necessary under
3 cross-examination, and I do think that Mr. Karnavas knows that.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't know that, that's my whole point. I was
5 never trained that way and I train lawyers how to conduct cross. I would
6 like to know what page and what line.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think in the cross-examination
8 the party has to right to put a question to this witness first and later
9 on, if the party is not satisfied with that answer or there is some
10 discrepancies there, then he or she should put the specific case to this
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour, but it would be nice to
13 have, at least for my reference, the page number so at least I could see.
14 Because I don't have to take the Prosecutor at their bona fides. I
15 wouldn't do that anywhere else, why would I do that over here? I'm not
16 about to start changing my habits. I'm not saying she's mischaracterising
17 anything, but I think common courtesy and procedure should be that I be
18 given at least a reference so I can look at it and follow along.
19 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Issa, you are not obliged to do that, but if you
20 could it would be of great assistance to Mr. Karnavas.
21 MS. ISSA: All right, Your Honour. I'm just trying to find the
22 reference in my notes. I believe it would be at page 38 in the English
23 version of the transcript.
24 Q. Now, sir, are you able to answer that question?
25 A. Yes. The answer is very simple. I'm here to tell the truth, so
1 I'm not afraid of anything. That was not the question to begin with; I
2 think the question referred to the 13th and the 14th. Why didn't I go to
3 Potocari? My answer, if I remember it correctly, is that at the crossing,
4 Srebrenica/Potocari, there was a military police checkpoint. And I think
5 that that should be the exact reading of the answer. As for the
6 13th -- but it would -- it referred to the 13th and the 14th, not the
7 12th, let alone the 11th.
8 Q. Well, sir, my question to you was relating to the 12th and the
9 13th. I didn't ask you anything about the 11th. If we do go to your
10 transcript, if you would like us to do that, the question refers to the
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I would like to go to the transcript --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, for the 13th. So my question
14 is yes, when it comes to the 13th, not the 12th.
15 MS. ISSA:
16 Q. The question was, sir, and this is just to clarify: On
17 that -- didn't you tell the investigators in Banja Luka that the reason
18 you didn't go to Potocari was because there was a police checkpoint and
19 they didn't allow you to go through?
20 A. Not to go to Potocari, but to go through Potocari on the way to
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. Because that was my tasking. It had nothing to do with Potocari,
24 but the Srebrenica/Potocari/Bratunac road. Why I didn't go to Bratunac
25 via Potocari, that was the question.
1 Q. Okay. Now, on the evening of the 13th, July, you were
2 actually -- you spent the evening in Bratunac. Isn't that right?
3 A. Yes, in my house.
4 Q. And you travelled through Srebrenica, Zalazje, Sase, Voljevica,
5 and then through Bratunac. Isn't that right?
6 A. Bjelovac, Pobrdje, yes.
7 Q. And in your words to the investigator, you said you travelled
8 through the whole town before you got home. Is that fair?
9 A. Yes, in principle.
10 Q. And you told us today, sir, that you were aware that there were
11 Muslim prisoners in the Vuk Karadzic school and on buses detained that
12 night in Bratunac. Right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you aware that the Muslim prisoners on buses and in the
15 various schools were abused and murdered during that period, on 12 and 13
17 A. No, not on the 13th in the evening.
18 Q. Well, let's go to your transcript, and I'm going to give you a
19 copy of your transcript. Now, you told us today, sir, that you knew that
20 there were prisoners in the Vuk Karadzic school on the 13th of July.
21 Isn't that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. I'd like you to turn to page 94, starting at line 4 through
24 43 in your copy. And in the English translation it's page 71, around the
25 middle of the page, through 72.
1 And you were asked: "We know for a fact that there were thousands
2 of Bosnian Muslim men of military-age held in that building, thousands of
4 And you say: "I don't know that. It seems there were quite a
5 large number. And if we're thinking of the same thing, it's not far from
6 the centre, but it's not in the direction where I was going, on the way.
7 I don't have any --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down, thank you.
9 MS. ISSA: Yes, sorry.
10 Q. "I don't have any need to dispute facts, but I wasn't even close.
11 I didn't look, and I didn't see that.
12 Question: "It's a huge number of people, though, isn't it to be
13 in a small town, a huge number of men?"
14 And you answer: "Yes, but if it's a closed room or closed rooms,
15 and if I had nothing to do with that, if somebody brought them there, held
16 them there, guarded them there, and if I don't have anything to do with
17 that, I didn't even know."
18 Do you remember being asked those questions and giving those
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All right. Just going back then, sir, to the 11th of July. On
22 the 11th of July you said that you wanted to report to Blagojevic -- you
23 went to report to Blagojevic personally because you had a duty to do so.
25 A. I don't know whether we understand each other. To report to what,
1 that Srebrenica had fallen? I went to take on other duties and other
3 Q. That's right. And you went to report to him personally so that he
4 can give you those duties and assignments. Isn't that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And in fact, you had a duty to report back to Colonel Blagojevic
7 throughout July in relation to any tasks or orders that he gave you.
8 Isn't that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you did personally report to him, either on the morning or the
11 evening on the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th of July. Right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. Well, I'd like to go to --
14 A. Just a moment, please. Let me just clarify one point. Via the
15 communications centre, so my report in actual fact -- actually, I didn't
16 have to receive it directly from Blagojevic, but through the
17 communications centre. The code, I would say yes, the situation is
18 regular, and if there is any new thing that I should be informed about,
19 then they would have informed me in due course later on, if not that would
20 be it, through the communications centre. I didn't have to ask for
21 Blagojevic in person; I would do it through the communications centre.
22 Q. But nevertheless you did personally see Colonel Blagojevic in
23 person on the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th of July, and you did report to
24 him, didn't you?
25 A. No, no. Not personally. On the 11th, yes. And probably until
1 the 17th, I might have seen him once again. But I was given my
2 assignments. So it was only through the communications centre that I was
3 able to inform him that I was working according to plan or the centre
4 would do this. I wasn't duty-bound to have a personal meeting with him.
5 Q. Well, if he asked you to report back to him in relation to a
6 particular order that he gave you, then you would be duty-bound to do so,
7 wouldn't you?
8 A. Yes. But the communications centre would have been sufficient.
9 Q. Okay. Turning then to exhibit P483, which is the 14th July order
10 that we saw earlier. Now, this is the order we saw earlier, sir, and I
11 believe in your examination-in-chief, Mr. Karnavas specifically asked you
12 about paragraph 3 of that order, which relates to your command -- as
13 commander of the 3rd Infantry Battalion to search the terrain. Do you
14 remember being asked some questions about that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you knew about that order, didn't you, at the time? You were
17 given this order to search the terrain, and then you explained to us what,
18 in fact, you did in relation to it. Right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I'd like you to please turn to the second page of that order. And
21 if we could look at the very last line. At paragraph 7 it states: "On
22 completion of the task, report to me at the briefing session on 17 July
24 Did you report to Colonel Blagojevic on 17 July 1995 in relation
25 to this task and what you -- what parts of the terrain you searched?
1 A. Well, it's difficult to remember all the dates, but if that's what
2 it says that it was the 17th, then it was the 17th, yes.
3 Q. Well, in fact, you did meet with him on the 17th, because that was
4 the day that you told us about earlier where he assigned you to search the
5 terrain in the Konjevic Polje area. Right?
6 A. If I remember correctly, yes.
7 Q. So there would be no reason for you not to discuss this order with
9 A. Well, there would be no reason.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. If he asked for that, if that's what he asked.
12 Q. Well, clearly he did, according to this document. Isn't that
14 A. Well, according to the document, yes. But as I said, it was a
15 long time ago, so I can't really actually remember.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, moving on then to the 19th of July, we can
17 refer back to that document dated 19th July.
18 MS. ISSA: It's D135 for the record.
19 Q. Now, you were referred to earlier to paragraph 2 where it says:
20 "The 3rd Infantry Battalion is securing the road from Glogova to
21 Konjevic Polje."
22 Were you aware of the mass graves at Glogova at that time?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you see loaders or excavators, engineering equipment, there at
25 the time?
1 A. Not then, but I wasn't at Konjevic Polje then either, nor did I
2 pass by that way.
3 Q. Didn't you say you were near Glogova?
4 A. In Glogova, yes, by the communications -- by the road.
5 Q. And you didn't see the mass graves that were located in Glogova?
6 A. Then, no. I heard about the graves at Glogova a long time after
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. And I don't know to this day exactly where they were, because
10 Glogova is a broad belt.
11 Q. Did you see patrols of military police from the Bratunac Brigade
12 securing the public utility workers in Glogova?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you, sir. I'd like to now go back to the 17th of July. I'm
15 sorry I'm skipping around like this, but if we all know where we are.
16 Now, in your examination-in-chief, sir, I believe you were asked
17 if you knew when you were tasked with this -- with the task of going to
18 the terrain and searching the terrain, where you ultimately met with
19 Gavric and Jevic. And you were asked whether or not you knew what unit
20 Jevic was part of or at least you stated you didn't know what unit Jevic
21 was part of. Do you recall saying that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Didn't Colonel Blagojevic, when he gave you this task on the 17th
24 of July, in fact tell you that there would be a platoon of - and I'm
25 quoting you - as he called them "specials" who would wait for you in the
1 region of Sandici?
2 A. No. And if I can see properly, in the order it just says the 3rd
3 and 4th.
4 Q. All right. I'd like you to go to the transcript.
5 MS. ISSA: And for the record in the English translation it's at
6 page 16, the first paragraph.
7 Q. And for you, sir, it's at page 24, lines 22 through 52. And for
8 context, we can turn back to page 15. And for you, it would be page
9 20 -- page 24, line 4 through 17. And at the very bottom of page 15, in
10 the English translation, if I can start there.
11 You say: "So on the 17th I brought about 60 men, and that was the
12 only time that there was a dialogue between me and Blagojevic, because I
13 wasn't able with those men to carry out a search of the terrain. I was
14 told that I would not be alone and that he knows that I was not able to
15 carry out something like that, especially with that composition of
16 manpower. An armed squad and an ambush could destroy the whole company,
17 regardless of the fact that it's called a company. I was told that the
18 main forces had already passed Konjevic Polje by the 11th and 12th and
19 were going in the direction of Crni Vrh/Tuzla, so that in that case
20 somebody had remained behind, that would be about the same or equal to my
21 men, and my company would be about the same composition and the same
22 quality. And I wouldn't be alone, that the people from the
23 Workers' Battalion would be joining me. The Workers' Battalion actually
24 never existed. There was the work obligation, though, and it would
25 occasionally be directed to the region of the assigned units as some sort
1 of strengthening fortification. And these were men whose average age was
2 even 60 with reduced physical fitness."
3 And then you say: "And that also there would be a platoon of, as
4 he called them, 'specials,' who would wait for me in the region of
6 Do you recall telling the investigators that?
7 A. Yes, but your question was directly about Jevic. So when you
8 asked me, you asked me about Jevic. So I didn't know whether there would
9 be somebody there or not, and if somebody was there whether it would be
10 Jevic or somebody else. So I think that's where the misunderstanding
11 lies, on that point, otherwise all the rest. And I really didn't -- but
12 that was the 17th. I looked at the order and I see it was the 18th when
13 we conducted the search.
14 Q. All right. Well --
15 A. So --
16 Q. We might be off on the day, sir.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, he's allowed to finish his answer.
18 The courtesy should be given to the witness to answer the question. He's
19 trying to be full and complete and she's trying to impeach him. He's
20 entitled to answer --
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, did you finish your answer?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, if we understand each
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa, please continue.
25 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Well, the Workers' Battalion, sir, or the work obligation, as I
2 think you put it, you knew who they were, didn't you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you knew that Mico Gavric would be meeting you there. I think
5 Colonel Blagojevic told you that, didn't he?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So the only other platoon of people that you didn't know were the
8 specials that Colonel Blagojevic referred to. Isn't that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, Colonel - excuse me - Mr. Jevic testified that
11 there were about 200 prisoners at the time that were captured, and the
12 three children that were also captured, which I believe was referred to
13 earlier, also said that there were prisoners in the hundreds, as opposed
14 to the 50 that I believe you told us about. Are you aware of that?
15 A. No. What I saw in the Sandici area was certainly that many.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. Plus the three teenagers, 15, 16 years old.
18 Q. The next day, Radika Petrovic, who was the 4th Battalion commander
19 testified that there were three buses that he saw in the Sandici/Lolici
20 area with -- full of men with prisoners. And he also said that each bus
21 could carry approximately 50 men. Does that help you refresh your
22 recollection as to how many men were captured on the 18th of July?
23 A. Well, it might refresh my memory. But if Jevic says 200, I didn't
24 actually see the buses -- or Radika. So I didn't encounter Petrovic then,
25 nor did I stay until the end. Perhaps there was some other captured men,
1 too. Now, this man claims 200, the three buses, 150. I'm saying that by
2 1800 hours, by 1800 hours, there were not more than that many, not after
3 1800 hours. Afterwards, I don't know.
4 Q. Okay. Now, the three teenagers that were captured, you just told
5 us they were approximately 15 and 16 years old. Isn't that right? Those
6 were their ages?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you -- do you know what happened ultimately to the men that
9 were captured?
10 A. With the men, no. The males, no.
11 MS. ISSA: I just have a couple more areas, Your Honour, and I'm
12 nearly finished.
13 Q. Just going back very briefly, sir, when you met with
14 Colonel Blagojevic on the 11th of July at Pribicevac you mentioned that
15 General Krstic was there, and I believe you said: "And there was also the
16 command of General Krstic." This was in your examination-in-chief. Was
17 General Krstic commanding this operation?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Turning then to P856. I'm just going to show you a document, sir,
20 and I'm going to ask you a couple of questions about it. If you can look
21 at that handwritten version of the document. At the very bottom of it,
22 sir, at the very bottom of the document, there's a signature. You see
23 that there?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is that Colonel Blagojevic's signature?
1 A. Well, I'm not a ballistics man, I don't think so. Do you mean
3 Q. No. I'm talking about the document I believe you're holding in
4 your right-hand. It's handwritten, not the one with the red ink on it.
5 A. No, no. I can't actually say yes or no.
6 Q. You must have seen Colonel Blagojevic's signature in the past,
7 haven't you, on various orders, things of that nature?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you're telling us you can't recognise his signature now?
10 A. Well, I just had his signature for a few minutes. I looked at it
11 the whole morning, and now that I see this I really don't want to venture.
12 It's not my profession. I don't want to venture into giving an express
14 Q. Okay. At the very bottom of that document right before the
15 signature, sir, it doesn't say anything like: "For Colonel Blagojevic."
16 It just says his name; there's no "for" there, is there?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So shouldn't this be his signature, under "military rules"?
19 A. There are two signatures here. There's a full name and surname,
20 if I might note, and there's a shortened version of the signature.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. I think that this shorter one is a little longer than his actual
23 signature, but I really don't know.
24 Q. Okay. But the question was: If there's no "for" before a
25 signature, the word "for," shouldn't this be his signature under military
2 A. Not only under military rules, but civilian rules, too, if I
3 understand this area.
4 Q. Thank you, sir.
5 MS. ISSA: If I can just ask Madam Usher to take that away so it
6 won't be distracting.
7 Q. Can you tell us, sir, where is -- what is Domavija in Srebrenica
8 town. There's a place called Domavija, can you tell us what it is.
9 A. A hotel.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, you were asked a number of questions about the
11 Red Berets. I just have a few. As I understood what your testimony, sir,
12 I think you said that the Red Berets were not part of the 3rd Battalion.
13 Is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. Well, let's go to another document. It's D143. And I'm
16 going to ask to turn to page ERN 00658848. And that page has been
17 translated; it's the second page.
18 All right, now, sir, let's maybe start at the very top of the
19 page. If you look at the name that is five lines down, "Simic (Tomislav)
20 Ivan." Do you see that name there?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And if you go across and you see this individual is listed as a
23 member of the 3rd Battalion, Crveni. And I may not be pronouncing that
24 properly, but I believe that refers to Red Berets. Doesn't it?
25 A. Well, I understand what you are saying.
1 Q. Well, the answer -- I would like you to answer that question, sir.
2 The question was: That refers to Red Berets, doesn't it? We saw that in
3 another document before?
4 A. Yes. This list, I emphasise that it was added. This is a brigade
5 list. If you happen to have in your possession a list dated from July of
6 the battalion, my battalion, the 3rd Infantry Battalion, then you'll see
7 that there is not a single name from the Red Berets there at all, whereas
8 this is the complete list. And I never contradicted the fact that people
9 were added.
10 Q. Okay. But as we can see here, sir, just on this page alone, there
11 are several people from the Red Berets that are listed as members of the
12 3rd Battalion, if you look at that page, aren't there?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And that, in fact, includes Miroslav Stanojevic, that is listed as
15 a Red Beret and member of the 3rd Battalion on this page? It's 14 lines
16 up from the bottom of the page.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MS. ISSA: I'm finished with that document. Thank you very much.
20 Q. Now, who has control over the Red Berets, sir?
21 A. Do you mean directly then or generally from 1992 to 1995?
22 Q. No. I mean in 1995 at the time.
23 A. In principle, I think it was the brigade command. They were the
24 only ones who were able to deploy them.
25 Q. Okay. And they were given orders then by the brigade command.
1 Isn't that right?
2 A. Well, that's quite normal, to the Red Berets and all the four
4 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
5 MS. ISSA: I have no further questions.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 Any re-direct?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I just have one question to clarify a point.
9 If I could show the gentleman what has been marked as P165. I
10 think this is my only copy, if you could provide it to the gentleman.
11 Re-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
12 Q. Now, can you read that, sir, what that document is? You don't --
13 A. Yes. It's a list of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, the command, and
14 the infantry companies.
15 Q. All right. And on that document, which is a Prosecution document,
16 and I believe you made reference to in your early question, are the Red
17 Berets listed on that as part of being permanent members of the
18 3rd Battalion?
19 A. Just a moment, please. May I take a moment to look through the
20 whole document?
21 Q. Certainly.
22 A. As far as I can see, no.
23 Q. Okay. Now, when you spoke to the Prosecutors back on 29 November
24 2001, which you've indicated earlier was well after Mr. Blagojevic had
25 been indicted and later on arrested, did you tell the Prosecutors or the
1 investigators for the Prosecution back then that on the 11th and 12th you
2 had not moved your positions as a result of an order given by
3 Colonel Blagojevic?
4 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, how does that arise out of
6 MR. KARNAVAS: It arises --
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MS. ISSA: And it's a leading --
9 MR. KARNAVAS: It arises out of that there has been some notion
10 that somehow on the 13th he went to Potocari. Frankly, I have not been
11 able to find such a section that says that.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, here we're talking about the 11th and the 12th.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand.
14 JUDGE LIU: We're not talking about the 13th.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Some background, Your Honour, because I want to go
16 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and so on.
17 JUDGE LIU: I think the situation is clear on the 11th and 12th.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: You may ask some questions on the 13th.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
21 Q. Is there anywhere in your statement, sir, because I can't find it,
22 that on the 13th you went to Potocari that you recall, in reading your
23 statement? Do you recall telling the Prosecutors that you went on the
24 13th to Potocari?
25 A. No. I think I cleared it up a moment ago to the lady from the
1 Prosecution. On the 13th -- in the evening of the 13th, I arrived in
2 Bratunac; that is not contested. But I was in Banja Luka why I had not
3 gone via Potocari. So my objective was not Potocari on the 13th, but
5 Q. All right.
6 A. And I thought I had made it clear.
7 Q. Well --
8 A. That question.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, you were asked whether you had personally met
10 with Colonel Blagojevic on the 14th, 15th, 16th, and the 17th when you
11 were reporting to him. Is it not a fact when you gave a statement to the
12 Prosecution that you said that, "Each evening or each morning I personally
13 reported to the brigade command," command, not commander?
14 A. Yes. I also think that I tried to clear the issue here as well.
15 Q. So I take it there is a difference between reporting to the
16 command and reporting to the commander?
17 A. Yes. Yes. I believe I tried to explain that. In view of the
18 situation I had found myself in, it was enough for me to call the
19 communications centre and to say, okay, and ask if there was anything for
20 me. What I want to say is there was no obligation, as such. But
21 otherwise, yes, there is a difference.
22 Q. All right. And finally you were asked or, in fact, you were read
23 a section from your statement with respect to the events on the 17th of
24 July, 1995. In Banja Luka, did you not in fact inform the investigators
25 for the Prosecution that Mico Gavric was there to serve as a coordinator
1 between your men and also the Worker's brigade. Do you recall saying
3 A. Yes, I do. But the question that was asked here was not the same.
4 It was worded in a different manner.
5 Q. And you did mention Jevic when you were asked questions about who
6 else was there, you did mention him, did you not?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you did also state, did you not, that "Mico Gavric issued an
9 order, which neither myself nor Jevic disputed that if there were
10 prisoners" --
11 MS. ISSA: Well, Your Honour --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: -- if anybody was captured and all those who were
13 surrendered voluntarily --
14 MS. ISSA: Your Honour. Excuse me.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MS. ISSA: I'm making an objection, Mr. Karnavas.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: You Honour, I'm entitled to ask the question before
18 the objection can be raised.
19 MS. ISSA: Well, it's very leading, Your Honour. I mean, what is
20 he doing? He's reading out from the transcript. And aside from that, it
21 just does not arise from the scope of cross-examination.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I don't think there's any disputes
23 on this very issue. The question has been asked and asked in the direct
24 and in the cross.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: The intimation is that somehow this gentleman with
1 his troops were involved in executing prisoners captured on the 17th and
2 on the 18th. Here I'm trying to show that when he was questioned by the
3 Prosecution, which is consistent with what Mr. Gavric said, that he was
4 ordered by Mr. Gavric, or Mr. Gavric at least informed both him and Jevic
5 that the prisoners were to be treated according to the Geneva Conventions.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the witness has already testified to
7 this aspect.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I just have one final
10 Q. You were asked about the 18th and about Mr. Radika Petrovic.
11 Right. Here you talk about the 17th. Sir, just to clear it up: How many
12 days were you searching the terrain, physically searching, the terrain?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please do not tie me
14 to specific dates. It was a long time ago, but we spent only one day
15 searching. Whether it was on the 17th or the 18th, I'm not sure. But I'm
16 sure that it was only one day.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very much.
18 I have no further questions, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 At this stage, are there any documents to tender? Mr. Karnavas?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. We have D143, pending
22 translation. I think we have, as with the other one that is already in
23 the translation pool, if we could have it completed. It's being
24 officially translated, but that's the document we wish to have translated.
25 That's the Bratunac Brigade roster for July 1995. And then the other
1 document is D141, is the handover of the supplies of the Red Berets. And
2 we discussed that. And that was D141.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 Any objections, Ms. Issa?
5 MS. ISSA: No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. As for the document D143, it's admitted
7 into the evidence temporarily, pending the translations, English
8 translations of this document. As for the other document, D141, is
9 admitted into the evidence.
10 On the part of the Prosecution, are there any documents to tender?
11 MS. ISSA: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. We received a thick bundle of documents.
13 MS. ISSA: Yes, you did, and I didn't use all of them.
14 JUDGE LIU: Just in case?
15 MS. ISSA: Yes.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to give
18 your evidence. The usher will show you out of the room, and we wish you a
19 pleasant journey back home. You may go now.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you to Your Honour for being
21 fair and correct to me.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE LIU: We still have more or less five minutes left. Are
24 there any matters that the parties would like to bring to the attention of
25 this Bench? Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, just briefly, Your Honour. Mr. Karnavas has
2 repeatedly, especially in the last few weeks, told the Court and told the
3 witnesses what the Prosecution is trying to prove or is proving.
4 That's - especially when it's absolutely wrong - is improper. For
5 example, suggesting to this man that we were calling him a murderer or
6 trying to prove that he'd murdered people in the woods, had I had evidence
7 beyond a reasonable doubt that this man and his unit were murdering people
8 in the woods, it would have been part of this indictment. And perhaps I
9 can save some time by just very briefly explaining this part of the 17
10 July and the sweeping of the woods and the children and the removing of
11 the people of a certain age, this is -- only the trees can tell us what
12 happened at that point, and any honourable witnesses. But the purpose of
13 that, and I think the Court understands, is to show the ongoing operation.
14 We now see through this witness that Colonel Blagojevic is actually aware
15 of which units and he's giving orders about things. So in that respect I
16 think we're learning something almost every day from each of these
17 witnesses. As much as I want to end this trial, I think we are learning
18 something every day from each of these witnesses and the Prosecution's
19 case is getting much stronger as a result. As a result I may be filing a
20 motion for you to reconsider your initial ruling, because through
21 Mr. Karnavas's witnesses we now have bodies in each of the classrooms of
22 the Vuk Karadzic school. We have Mr. Blagojevic involved in different
23 conversations and different events related to this crime. I mean, it's
24 innumerable what the evidence is mounting on this. But the point of what
25 I'm saying is that if he's going to be stating what our case is, he should
1 get it right and not inflame people by suggesting we're trying things that
2 we have not charged in the indictment but that are part of the larger
3 picture for you to understand the charges that are in the indictment.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: The Prosecution --
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: -- has stained all of the soldiers that were with
7 the Drina Corps or anybody else that participated during that campaign.
8 They have spread stain from top to bottom. Everyone they claim was
9 engaged in this murder operation, everybody was engaged in ethnic
10 cleansing. I think I got their case right on point, and the point is they
11 want to blame every single person who was there in that vicinity. And I
12 don't want to go any further on that. I think I have it right. If the
13 Prosecutor wants me to write me the script what their case is because I
14 haven't got it right, I would be more than happy to read it to the
15 witnesses as to what their case might be. But I think I have it by now in
16 light of their indictment.
17 As far as their case getting stronger, we know one thing, he was
18 indicted before they even investigated the case. He was arrested like a
19 common criminal, like a drug dealer before they investigated the case.
20 Now we know as of last week they were interviewing the people that made
21 coffee in the Bratunac Brigade headquarters trying to find something on
22 Mr. Blagojevic. And there's nothing there. The shame of it is that they
23 went after this man, they indicted him before investigating, and it's a
24 result-oriented Prosecution. And that's what I'm trying to present to
25 each and every one of the witnesses and to everybody who is watching this
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, as a matter of fact in most of the
3 occasions, I say in most of the occasions, mentioning the Prosecution's
4 case is not necessary in your question. You may cite the indictment. You
5 may say that the indictment alleged certain matters. But frankly
6 speaking, at this moment, we haven't formed any opinions on the
7 Prosecution's case or on your case yet, because we haven't finished the
8 witnesses yet. So in order to avoid unnecessary conflicts or obstacles to
9 the proceedings, my advice is that reduce mentioning the other party's
10 case or person to the minimum, only at necessary points. Yes.
11 Are there any other matters?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, I have another matter.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: And I take the Court's advice and I appreciate
15 that. There are two matters, both related. We're trying -- we've put on
16 our list Colonel Karremans who wasn't called by the Prosecution or I
17 believe in the previous cased related to this one. Also we put on
18 Karl Bildt. The Dutch government, for whatever reason, has refused to
19 provide us with any assistance. We've gone through the liaison person
20 who works for the ICTY, we've gone through the Ministry of Defence. They
21 told us that they have nothing to do with the gentleman. We've gone
22 through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and it seems we are running
23 against obstacle on obstacle. As with Karl Bildt, we contacted the
24 Swedish embassy, they gave me an e-mail address. I wrote to the
25 gentleman, we've called him again, and basically, nothing is happening.
1 Though I believe with Mr. Bildt, he might also be wanted in the Milosevic
2 case. I was wondering whether, in light of their situations, their
3 positions, whether we could expect or hope for any assistance from this
4 Tribunal. We believe that both are very critical witnesses to this
5 finding process. So -- but I don't know whether this Trial Chamber is
6 able to coerce or cajole, I should say, the two governments into assisting
7 us and bringing these two gentlemen here for the Defence.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we came across the same issue during the
9 direct examination. We discussed about the testimony of one of the
10 witnesses there, and from my experience it is very difficult to deal with
11 the host government. But first of all I would like to say that the
12 testimony of those witnesses that you are seeking the help should be the
13 most critical and essential witnesses. Secondly, is that you have to
14 exhaust all the means at your disposal. And if so, we'll consider what we
15 could do in this aspect.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Mr. President.
17 If I might ask: Exhaustion? I mean, I'm exhausted in trying. I
18 may not have exhausted all of my means, but I'm certainly exhausted.
19 Where does the line end as far as exhaustion of effort go?
20 JUDGE LIU: Maybe Mr. McCloskey is more experienced in this
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, Mr. President, I've been watching
23 Mr. Karnavas for a long time and I haven't seen him get exhausted yet.
24 I'm hoping, but I haven't seen that. In relation to these two witnesses,
25 in the foundation for Karl Bildt, I don't really see the justification for
1 calling him. Perhaps a more detailed justification would lead to
2 something, especially as we want to end this trial at some point. I think
3 your point is very well-taken, that we need some real reasons. And
4 Mr. Bildt and this idea of Sarajevo and Srebrenica being traded, this is
5 in the land of politics and conspiracy theories, which I don't think will
6 help the Court.
7 Now, Colonel Karremans obviously is a person that was involved.
8 Mr. Karnavas has made a point in his documents, and it sounds, from my
9 knowledge of it, that he has exhausted perhaps most of the remedies for
10 getting him here. And I think the Dutch government, if they're going to
11 want Tribunals in their country, which I know they do, ought to help out
12 the Defence, the Prosecution, and the Court. So -- and I have no
13 objections regarding Colonel Karremans. He is clearly someone that may
14 assist the Court.
15 JUDGE LIU: So, Mr. Karnavas, if you want to file something, you
16 have to state very clearly in your motion the reasons to justify that
17 request, as we informed you before. And how about the 92 bis filings? It
18 will take some time for the Tribunal to work in this aspect. We are
19 expecting those filings very soon.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm sure you are, Mr. President, Your Honours. And
21 they are coming your way very, very soon. We have, as I understand it,
22 virtually all of the statements have recently been translated and now
23 we're finalising the motion itself. So we hope to have it in by next
24 week, no doubt. I was also reminded by my colleagues on the team that it
25 might be useful - and I'm only throwing this out as a suggestion - but it
1 might be useful that after next week the Defence be given a week break to
2 sort of regroup and tidy up any other matters that need to be done in the
3 field. It is not a -- it is not a formal request, though it is a
4 suggestion that I am throwing out at this point. By the end of next week,
5 we would have put on 24 witnesses in total. So I haven't spoken to the
6 Prosecution and I haven't spoken to my colleagues on the Defence, but my
7 team members have been rather -- I don't want too vociferous, but rather
8 emphatic about me asking of the Trial Chamber of the possibility of having
9 a week break in order to sort of catch up.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: If I can just briefly respond on the Prosecution's
12 position on that. As you know, in our case we occasionally did have such
13 a break and it was of great help because you do get very exhausted, as I
14 know you are very tired. So I would not object, especially if
15 Mr. Karnavas might review his witness list a little bit and maybe think
16 about reducing it somewhat, because there's quite a bit of repetition in
17 it, or trying to reduce it to 92 bis.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think we mentioned that your
19 case should be finished by the end of June, that is next month. And
20 within this time, as for how many witnesses and how are you going to
21 arrange the testimony of these witnesses is your business. We stick to
22 the principle that one day, one witness, up to now we are satisfied with
23 it. Although, we should anticipate that there are some longer witnesses
24 which may -- who might take about two or three days. If you could cut
25 short the witness list or turn some live witnesses into 92 bis witnesses,
1 we'll seriously consider your request.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just one last thing. I hope we can get a witness
4 list for the following week -- well, for our purposes, but as
5 Mr. Karnavas knows we try to do a last-minute search of all our records
6 related to statements or maps. While we seldom come up with anything, we
7 have a few times and we provide that to them. The sooner we get the names
8 and the orders, we're able to coordinate these efforts and get materials
9 sooner. So if I could encourage getting that two-week advance, I would
10 appreciate it.
11 JUDGE LIU: That's a reasonable request. I hope Mr. Karnavas will
12 bear that in mind.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President. We have for next week's, and I
14 will be looking over the next one. And hopefully we'll have it out over
15 the weekend, an e-mail, something to notify everything, because we also
16 need to coordinate in the field passports and what have you.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
18 The hearing is adjourned. We'll resume next Monday at 9.00 in
19 Courtroom III.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
21 at 1.55 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
22 the 10th day of May, 2004,
23 at 9.00 a.m.